"We're very much looking forward to being as happy as we are now, for years to come."

July 11, 2022

I live with my fiancé Niall, and my son Oisín, who will be two next month. Before we moved to Mill Heights, Castlebridge, Wexford, we were living in an apartment in Clonard. We were really happy there. We had been there just over two years, having moved in when I was pregnant. We spent the pandemic there. We were starting to feel at home and were looking forward to spending another few years there, but our landlord decided to sell the property, and unfortunately, we were given a few months’ notice to find somewhere else. I’m presently unemployed and my fiancé just finished college, so it’s not like either of us were on a high wage. This meant the already limited numbers of rental properties available were even further out of our reach.

We contacted the council because we were on HAP. We asked if there was anything that could be done to help us, and we were told to get in contact with the local housing officer who nominated us to CHI. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this is definitely not what I expected; it’s been incredible. From everyone in CHI, to the house itself, we’ve been so lucky, especially at such a difficult time for so many people struggling to find rental accommodation.

Moving was hectic and tough, especially with a toddler, who is waiting to get assessed for autism. I’m an only child, so I don’t have any siblings who I could call on to help or babysit, and Niall has two siblings who have their own lives and families. Our mothers have been hugely helpful, however my mother doesn’t drive and lives in another part of the county so it can be difficult to call on her for support without plenty of notice.

So, with that, Covid, and Niall being in college, it was a bit of a one-woman show with regards to people being able to spend time with Oisín. Before we had any suspicions that he may have autism, we were very worried about his social development since he didn’t get to have much interaction during the pandemic. We love our little boy, and we want him to experience the best in life that he can, but this can be challenging for a child on the spectrum. This is also one of the reasons that we are so grateful that we now have such an incredible place to live.

We’ve gradually been meeting the neighbours as they’re getting themselves sorted. We have a gable end house, so we’ve no one on one side, and then on the other side, we have a really lovely neighbour. Our garden gets sun all day long when the weather is good, and Oisín loves going out to have a good run around. We can’t stop appreciating how lovely the house is and how fortunate we are!

It's a funny coincidence that when my parents decided to move to Wexford from Dublin 20 years ago, the first place we stayed was at a B&B here in Castlebridge, so it very much felt like fate that we got a house here. It wouldn’t have been the first place I would have thought to search for accommodation as I don’t drive, so I always tried to keep myself in or very near town, but there is a regular daily bus service here now which makes such a difference. Niall spent a lot of time with his friends in Castlebridge growing up so he was already familiar with the area, and this also lent to the sense that it was kind of meant to be.

We're very much looking forward to being as happy as we are now, for years to come. We have secure family home, for the rest of our lives if we so choose, and we can expand our family without worry for the future!

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