“The house we were in was like an igloo, you could fly a kite inside of it with the drafts.”
February 9, 2023
CHI Member Michael and his wife Ilona discusses life in their new home in Roslevan, Co. Clare
Before we moved into this home, we lived in a big four-bedroom house. I had four kids living at home, so we needed to have four bedrooms. The house was nice, but it was very cold, the landlord lived in Mayo. I actually saw him just once during in the twelve years that we rented there and that was when we moved in. Most of the things that needed to be done around the house we did ourselves. There wasn’t much support from the landlord. He wanted his rent paid, that was all.
One day we had a letter from the landlord to notice that we had to move out. It was a really tough time for us as a family. My husband has a disability, as do I, and my daughter is a single parent with a small child. It was hard to get somewhere new to rent that we could afford. We contacted the county council about the RAS scheme, and that’s how we got in touch with Co-operative Housing Ireland.
The house was a God send. The house we were in was like an igloo, you could fly a kite inside of it with the drafts. We’re fierce happy with this house now with CHI. It’s a joy to come into a warm house. I’ve a lot of issues with my health. I’ve to take 18 tablets a day to stay alive. In the other house I’d freeze. Here my quality of life has gone up a good bit because I’m not cold. It’s a great peace of mind for me too that no matter what happens, Dominica and her daughter Saebhdh have a secure home. We’ve a nice-sized back yard where Saebhdh and the dog enjoy playing. We’re in a great location, within walking distance of a shop, but by the same token we’re away from the hustle and bustle of town. We prefer to live in a quiet place.
There’s a Ukrainian woman living next to us, with her daughter and granddaughter. On the other side, we’ve a neighbour I cut the grass for, and she comes into us for coffee. It’s nice to chat away to people and have a coffee. Our Ukrainian neighbour gives me tips on gardening. We look out for each other and do things like keep an eye on neighbours’ places if they’re away. All in all, I count us very lucky. The house is A1.
The one thing I’m looking forward to in this new place, and I’ve already had some of it, is peace of mind. To get a letter in the door that you must vacate the property by such a date puts so much pressure on you. We did so much in our last place. I did all the repairs myself, all the windows, we painted, we did the gardens. We treated it like our own. You like to have a place right no matter what when you’re living in it. It’s a kick in the teeth then to get a letter saying you’ve to leave in three months. With little Saedhbh, you want somewhere safe to live. Like everybody else, you just want to make it nice for them. Life is complicated enough, the least you can do is give a child a decent childhood.