Republic of Ireland news

Family-of-seven who slept in Garda station 'could get home for extra €400'

 Margaret Cash with six of her seven children who slept in a Dublin Garda station last week
Aoife Moore, Press Association

HOMELESS campaigners have said a family with seven young children who slept in a Dublin Garda station last week could have a permanent accommodation if Dublin City Council agrees to pay an extra €400 in Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

Margaret Cash and her children have been at the centre of a national debate after photos emerged on social media of the young children and their 28-year-old mother sleeping in Tallaght Garda station last week after attempts to find emergency accommodation failed.

Inner City Helping Homeless, which has been working as advocates for Ms Cash's family, said it has located fixed accommodation for the family for five years.

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Tallaght Garda station in Dublin where a mother and six children were given shelter. Picture by Brian Lawless, Press Association

Founder Anthony Flynn said a shortfall of €400 is standing between the permanent home for the children.

He said: "We have been down every avenue for the last two days, and finally found somewhere.

"Unfortunately, the council won't meet the HAP requirement as it's over the maximum amount allowed.

"We need increase in the HAP, we're currently in a situation where it's costing €1,200 a week to accommodate this family as it is.

"The suitable answer would be to take the property and get the family in so the children can have a bit of stability and a home to call their own.

"The thing is, they can bend the rules, this is an exceptional case, if they deem fit to do so, they can increase the payment in regards to HAP.

"The DRHE (Dublin Region Homeless Executive) need to come to the table, this could have been solved in a more legitimate manner than what it was.

"They constantly made offers that were unsuitable, and this could be the light at the end of the tunnel."

 A mother and her children slept in Tallaght Garda Station when emergency accommodation could not be found

A spokesman for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said on Monday: "The DRHE does not comment on details of individual cases. Both the DRHE and SDCC (South Dublin County Council) are working hard to resolve the matter and have been in touch directly with Ms Cash.

"There are procedures to be followed for HAP payments and relevant criteria that must be adhered to get a social housing tenancy in order to be transparent and fair to all applicants."

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