Saturday 16 December 2017

'Something needs to be done for people like us who can't save for a house deposit'

BUDGET SPL; Michael O'Donnell and his wife Mary Jane with their son Josh at their Tyrrellstown home last night.
BUDGET SPL; Michael O'Donnell and his wife Mary Jane with their son Josh at their Tyrrellstown home last night.

One Dublin family has said that the Government's Budget has failed to help people like them who are "stuck" in the precarious rental market.

Michael and Mary-Jane O'Donnell (both 28) and their son Joshua (4) are renting in Dublin 15. But they told the Herald that they have no security or peace-of-mind in their home.

The O'Donnells are unable to save to buy a home due to their €1,075 monthly rental bill - even though they want to purchase outside of Dublin where prices are lower.

Both parents work - Michael full-time in a printing company and Mary-Jane part-time as an accounts assistant in the city centre.

"We would love something to be done for people like us who can afford to rent but are struggling. We can't save for a deposit for a house, we're stuck," Mary-Jane said.

"If we were this age a few years ago, we would have bought a house as soon as we got married but it's not plausible now.

"It's disappointing for me, but Michael takes a lot of it on because he wants us to be progressing in our lives."

Both say that they live in fear of rent hikes and dread their lease finishing in January.

"There's an identical property going across the road from us for €1,400 so in comparison we're quite low.

"We do try to avoid the landlord when it comes to repairs, we pay for them in case it gets them thinking about putting up the rent.

"Then you have the added worry that you're putting so much into the property and we might not be here in a few months," she added.

"You live with those worries at the back of your mind and it does have an effect on your way of thinking and your standard of living," Mary-Jane said.

The O'Donnell family are happy with their current landlord and they know they are lucky to be in such a good situation but they are angry that the Government hasn't done more to safeguard their position.

"We know we are not homeless so we're lucky, but when you hear so much about it all the time it does make you think - if we didn't have this house where would we be?

"We couldn't afford to rent anywhere else in Dublin so we'd have to move elsewhere."

Having a house would bring a sense of security Maryjane said.

"It would make a huge difference to have the reassurance and the security to make plans and live our life."

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