WHEN SHARON Malupande, her pastor husband Themba, and their daughters, Natasha (14) and Shekinah (8), were told by their landlord that he was selling the Limerick house they had lived in for 10 years, the family were left with few options.
Realising for the first time that they had no security of tenure as a family was “a shock”, Sharon told the Limerick Post.
“The landlord wanted to sell and a lot of landlords were doing that at the time. We loved the area we lived in and our children were in school there. But even if we rented somewhere else privately, there was no guarantee that we would not be asked to move again.”
The family qualified for inclusion on the local authority housing list but there were no houses available and a lot of families ahead of them so there followed a very unsettling time in emergency accommodation.
“The lady who was working with us from the council said there was this new scheme which they were involved in and of course we were interested,” Sharon said.
Which is how the family came to be one of the first residents of Amharc Muileann, the co-operative housing scheme on the Bloodmill Road which opened officially this past Monday (June 10) by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.
“The house is lovely and we have great neighbours,” Sharon said of the three-bed home.
“Our children didn’t have to change school, I can walk into work from here and my husband, who’s a minister and works part-time for Amazon, is near to work as well.”
But, Sharon says, “the most important thing is that while we’re still renting, no can tell us to leave unless we’re bad tenants. And that security is very important, particularly when you have children. We could not have that if we were still renting privately.”