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Couples forced to live with parents

DUBLIN families are living in cramped conditions as young couples whose homes have been repossessed are now forced to move back in with their parents.

Young couples who have lost their jobs are surrendering their houses in commuter areas such as Navan, Ashbourne, and Meath -- and they are now desperate for homes from Dublin City Council.

Cllr Christy Burke told the Herald that he has been inundated by couples who have lost their own houses and are now living with their parents -- and face a wait of up to five years for a house.



embarrassed

"They're totally embarrassed about it. They say I'm living in my mother's now and he's living in his mother's. That's how you know that the houses have been repossessed."

The latest official Dublin City Council figures, which were collated in March 2009, showed that there were 6,108 applicants on the housing list and Cllr Burke fears the list is growing.

Meanwhile, 800 homes in the city remain boarded up because they're in need of refurbishment.

Cllr Burke stressed: "There are people who were living in Ashbourne, Navan and areas in Meath and they bought out there, but now it's all gone belly up and they're back living in Dublin.

"It's unacceptable that city units are lying idle and people are living in appalling conditions. There are the units left that weren't sold and then there are 800 properties boarded up."

A recruitment embargo, restrictions on using external contractors, and cuts to council funding have left the council unable to refurbish the 800 homes.

A council spokesperson said: "Excluding dwellings that are scheduled for demolition and refurbishment, there are 799 dwellings vacant/under repair, citywide. These dwellings will be re-let when all the necessary repairs have been completed. The figure of 799 voids represents 2.96pc of the total housing stock."

Cllr Burke stressed that a "serious epidemic" is about to happen, since families will be on a waiting list three to five years before they get an apartment or a house.

The council spokesperson said: "All allocations are made in accordance with the Scheme of Letting Priorities which is based on applicants housing needs. Therefore some applicants have to wait longer as their need is not deemed to be as high as other applicants."

hnews@herald.ie