herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Couple's joy at new home for half the previous rent

Christine and Michael McMahon in their new apartment
Christine and Michael McMahon in their new apartment

An elderly couple who were paying €1,000 a month in rent are overjoyed to have finally got off the social housing list.

Michael and Christine McMahon now live at the Calderwood apartment complex in Drumcondra, where they pay less than half their previous rent.

"The rent was very expensive - €1,000 a month - and we're only pensioners," 70-year-old Mr McMahon told the Herald.

The complex contains 13 new social houses provided by Co-Operative Housing Ireland (formerly Nabco) under a partnership agreement with Nama, which provided €600,000 to finish and fit out the complex.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly was at the opening and confirmed that Co-Operative housing Ireland is to provide a further 39 houses in nearby Richmond Park.

Sympathy

Mr Kelly said the Government brought in the rent freeze because it wanted to prevent "people falling out of the rental market".

"We have great sympathy for the people who are still on the council housing list," said Mr McMahon, who grew up in a tenement on Amiens Street.

"Sometimes we feel guilty about being in this place because it is a lovely complex - what breaks our heart the most is to see the amount of children who are homeless."

Kieron Brennan, CEO of Co-operative Housing Ireland chief executive Kieron Brennan said: "These two new developments in Drumcondra will make a real contribution to meeting the housing need."

Also present was Nama boss Brendan McDonagh who said that Nama had made 6,575 residential properties available for social housing nationwide since 2011.

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