Ireland rental crisis: man (61) preparing for surgery has ‘nowhere to recover’ as house has been sold and no other rental properties are available

Noel Dunne should be spending his time preparing for two major surgeries, but instead the 61-year-old faces the prospect of becoming homeless when he is released from hospital in a few weeks.

Dunne has been renting a farmhouse in Kilmore, County Wexford for the past three years, but was told last week he must move in six to eight weeks as the property has been sold.

Mr Dunne, who moved to the area from Dublin several years ago, has had jobs as a postman, barman and seaman but had to stop working in the last year due to worsening emboli in his leg.

In the coming weeks, he will undergo major surgery to remove the emboli in his leg and the aneurysm in his chest.

Meanwhile, the place he has called home has been sold, leaving him with nowhere to recover from his surgeries.

Although he is eligible for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), he is unable to find housing that he can afford.

“I only got the news about the sale three weeks ago, that it was sold. I knew it was for sale, but I didn’t think it would go that fast,’ Mr Dunne said.

‘I’m packing. I don’t know where I will be to recover. I can’t find a place to stay at all.

“I am mainly looking for a permanent place. I am in the HAP scheme, but the HAP scheme does not cover the rent in many places.”

He said his landlords, who live in the Netherlands, want to get out of the rental market and use the money from the sale to buy a house.

“They want to get out of this rental business because of all the taxes,” said Mr. Dunne. “What I understand is that they live in an apartment and want to buy a house in the Netherlands. They’re going to use the money from this sale for a down payment on a house there.

“The new landlords, I don’t know who they are, but they’re coming in to remodel and they want to get started as soon as possible.”

The 1870 farmhouse has been modernized and has three bedrooms, one en suite, a bathroom, a dining room, a sitting room, a breakfast room and a kitchen.

“I called the council, there must have been over 100 calls, but all I got was an answering machine from the local officer in the area and she never got back to me. I just filled her machine with messages telling her my situation. Sometimes I called her twice a day.

“The aldermen said there was nothing they could do. They are also under pressure from a lot of other people.”

Mr. Dunne has been working with local TDs in an effort to find housing immediately, but has had no luck.

The Irish independent contacted Wexford County Council for comment.