A Statement by Home Sweet Home, on the fight to provide decent provision for the homeless residents residing in the expropriated NAMA building in Dublin City, before Apollo House is vacated.
Home Sweet Home Legal Team in Court to Seek Extension of Stay This Morning
At 10.30am this morning the Home Sweet Home legal team are going into the high court to seek an extension to the stay placed by Judge Gilligan on his order to vacate Apollo House on 11 January. The stay is due to expire today, 11 January, at midday. Despite great efforts by the Home Sweet Home collective, and despite assurances given by Minister Coveny at recent negotiations, it has not been possible to secure adequate alternative accommodation catering for the short and long term needs of the residents of Apollo House. It is imperative therefore to seek an extension to the stay until safe and adequate alternative accommodation is secured for the residents of Apollo House. It may be necessary as part of the application to Judge Gilligan to join Minister Coveny to the proceedings.
Eight residents have been forced to return to Apollo House after the government abandoned its commitment to address their needs, mere hours after promising it would. The Government promised safe, secure accommodation that respected the individual needs of the residents, but campaigners can confirm that this has not been delivered.
Apollo House and Home Sweet Home campaigners are calling on public support to join them outside Apollo House from 11am today, Wednesday January 11th as they defend the gains of this campaign and the basic right to a home.
Home Sweet Home spokesperson Freda Hughes said: “We have stated all along that we have a duty of care to the residents and we won’t leave until they are all housed in appropriate accommodation. Some have already returned from hostels with appalling conditions where they were given 6 month beds, but in entirely inappropriate settings. Others have been housed appropriately, however we have no guarantee that everyone will be based on what we have seen thus far. The conditions in the accommodation provided by the government are as unsafe and unsuitable as those that initially drove many of the residents of Apollo House to sleep on the streets in the first place. We can only assume that Minister Coveny’s entering into negotiations with us was no more than a political stunt in an attempt to quell the huge amount of public outrage at the abject housing crisis in this country.”
One resident who was moved from Apollo said: “I was in put in a room full of heroin bags, crack pipes, and walls covered in blood. I have an application for social housing since 1995, 22yrs.”
Another resident, who was offered a room in a hostel he believed to be safe, was then told upon leaving that he would be taken somewhere different from what had been agreed.
Despite being in recovery from addiction for two years, and was taken to a ‘wet’ hostel with no heating, no ceiling, and gaps between walls.
Another resident who is due to start an apprenticeship on Monday was told that he was not allowed to bring his clothes to his new hostel because of insufficient storage. The conditions in the accommodation he is being offered will only trap him in a further cycle of homelessness.
Peter, a resident and volunteer at Apollo House, said of the accommodation given to him by the Government: “The room was absolutely deplorable, there were blood stains on the wall and in the sink. I was driven very hastily to this hostel, and dropped off very unceremoniously.
“I felt like I was just a statistic, like I was disposable, like they were just ticking a box. I was also expecting a dry house, that was safe, with a minimum standard of hygiene. I’m in recove
ry, and being around drug use would not be a good environment for me. I have nothing against people who are using, but I can’t be around them constantly.
“All I want is a bed somewhere, where I can sit down with a key worker and say ‘right, now what do I have to do to get on the HAP scheme?’. If I have my own place, I can spend time with my daughter.” he said
Home Sweet Home spokesperson Tommy Gavin concluded: “This is completely unacceptable, and Home Sweet Home will not stand over the health or safety of vulnerable people being compromised.”
Saroadh has said it will continue to actively work on behalf of Irish Citizens who have been persecuted for profit, by the Gombeen bourgeois elite in Leinster House.