Family lives in tent because emergency accommodation was ‘worse than prison’ | World | New

Alan Fitzpatrick, 37, his wife Kelly, 30, and their children, Kasey, 17, Jack, 10, and Bobby, 6, have set up camp on a patch of grass in Clondalkin, Dublin. They had been given emergency accommodation in a Dublin city center hotel by South Dublin County Council last Friday evening, August 26.

The family of five had been living in a house in Clondalkin under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme for 11 years.

However, in January they were told by their landlord that they would have to vacate the property on August 26, reports Dublin Live.

The couple have been searching for suitable accommodation since January to no avail.

After spending four nights in emergency accommodation in a Dublin city center hotel, they refused to stay there due to the allegedly deplorable conditions.

Kelly claims that due to the room becoming infested with bugs, she caught a skin infection.

She saw her GP who wrote a letter saying she ‘had witnessed a rash due to insect infestation from the emergency accommodation she was in’.

‘I would appreciate if you could facilitate suitable accommodation for her and her family,’ he told South Dublin County Council.

In apparent videos of the single bedroom, seen by Dublin Live, it contained two bunk beds, a single bed and a broken TV.

The outside of the windows were covered in what appeared to be vomit from the room above. Another video shows cockroaches scurrying around.

“We are forced to return to the emergency accommodation – a so-called hotel – because the Council has said we will be taken off the accommodation list if we don’t,” Alan said.

“When we entered the hotel, the room was worse than a prison cell.

“Our boys ran out crying and refused to sleep there, so they stayed with their grandparents for the weekend.

“We had to call an ambulance for Kasey as she fell ill and is still in hospital.

“We showed the Council the doctor’s letter and the ward records and were told we still had to come back or we weren’t on the list.

“So we have no choice but to pitch a tent on the green to be close to the children’s schools, our family, our friends and our neighbours.”

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “The council does not comment on individual cases, but any complaints received, relating to emergency and other accommodation provided to homeless households, are automatically referred to Dublin Regional. Homeless Executive for investigation.”

About Michael B. Billingsley

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