The Story Of Frank

at

This morning.

On RTE’s Morning Ireland.

It had an item on older people losing their homes because they cannot afford to pay their rent.

Charity Alone has said the number of people, aged over 60 and on the social housing list, seeking help from Alone has grown nationally by 11.4% each year between 2013 and 2016.

In Dublin, it went up by 18% in 2015 and in 2016.

Journalist Cian McCormack spoke to a 71-year-old man called Frank who is likely to be homeless next week as the landlord of the house he has been renting for seven years wants him to leave.

Frank has been paying rent of €1,250 a month.

He gets a pension of €150 a week and does odd jobs to make up the difference to make his rent, his bills and to eat.

Frank told Mr McCormack:

“I’m running to stand still. I’m out there and like there’s some weeks, I don’t have work and sometimes the weather is against me.

“But, I mean look, for the last 10 years or so, 12 years, I’ve been lucky. There’s other people there worse than I am.

“At least I can get out of bed in the morning. But what I fear is the day I can’t get out, that I can’t make money…to pay.”

He added:

“I’ve been approved for HAP [Housing Assistance Payment] so HAP, I mean I’ve gone to a few places and looked in and the landlords just look at me and say, like, hang on, they don’t ask me personal questions because they just look at me, my age, and say, ‘what’s wrong?’, to themselves.

“There’s no feedback from them…they have my number. I just don’t get a phone call from them.”

I have been looking around…seeing if I can get somewhere for maybe €600. They’re just laughing at me.”

Meanwhile…

Also this morning, in the Dail…

‘How could any landlord put a 71-year-old man out on the street’ (The Irish Times)

16 thoughts on “The Story Of Frank

  1. Junkface

    Irish Landlords. Christ! Some of them are so cold and cruel, the greed just gets worse every year, total lack of empathy. The personal accounts from tenants just get more sad and desperate.

  2. mildred st. meadowlark

    How can anyone hear this kind of thing and not think of their own parents or grandparents being in this situation? It’s sickening.

  3. GiggidyGoo

    Young or old, it doesn’t matter to FG. the more people they can step on and make their lives a misery, the happier FG are. Endemic and historic.

  4. Kolmo

    That is grim….
    I does not reflect well on us as a society the way we treat the weak, it’s always been that way it seems, piecemeal social protection is left to the many, many well meaning but disparate charities doing the governments job, can we be called a civilised society?

  5. ReproBertie

    This is insanity. Rents in Dublin go up and up and up resulting in increased homelessness while villages “down the country” are dying from depopulation. €600 a month, like Frank is asking about, will rent a 3 bed house in Leitrim.

    Of course moving down the country won’t suit everyone but it has to suit some and it has to be better than living in a hotel room or temporary accommodation.

    1. Birdie

      There’s plenty of places outside of Dublin I’d happily live in if there was a proper Fast train network… The fact is most people are tied to Dublin because of work.

      It’s horrible what that man, at his age, has to deal with… Crazy stress.

      1. Andy

        Have a look at how long it takes the trains to get into connolly or hueston from 30 or 40 miles away. They seem to only travel at about 20 miles an hour.

  6. snowey

    its a hard call – the landlord may have commitments and it is their property so blaming the landlord isn’t fair, they aren’t and shouldn’t be a charity.

    It is a very sad thing to read all the same. Hopefully their are state services to help this man

    I thought the state pension was 220? why is frank only getting 150? have i missed something?

    1. Jim Bob Julius

      I’d generally agree with the above.

      I’m not going to write a treatise defending landlords but the reality is that the landlord does not have a duty to house this man – the state he has paid into the over years does. Not for free of course, which is the usual refrain from some, just a reasonable place for a reasonable price.

      The free market does not work when it comes to certain aspects of society and it certainly does not work for social housing.

      FG are incapable of solving this issue because they do not appear to want to solve this issue. FF will not be any better either.

      Until we return to state built homes I am not there will be any end to this and portakabins and the like are not the answer – high rise apartment blocks would seem to be the way forward.

      1. Go A Way

        How do you know he’s paid into the state?
        If he’s doing odd jobs all his life it’s probably all off the books

  7. anne

    I only mention this the other day on the newspaper thread, where there was a headline about the pension crisis…. nevermind pensions, that’s a luxury.. people who’ve never got onto the property market are going to be homeless into old age.. when will this not be tolerated? We need a huge influx of social housing.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      And there is the real issue. The future for the people that have no choice but to rent – they’ll never actually own a home. Big business will dictate the future lives of people. The Bilderberg meetings are not secret for nothing.

  8. Lilly

    I heard this interview this morning, heart breaking. Then this evening, on a short stretch along Stephen’s Green, three young women asking for money for a hostel. Nobody wants this, yet nothing changes. Mick Wallace used to be a builder, has he any half decent suggestions? Irish people are inately kind – I rediscover this every time my car breaks down – how can our society be so broken?

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