Dad living with pregnant partner and six kids in homeless hub pleads to be rehoused
“Nicola was assaulted there a while back, when we first moved in. Your man was off his head on the drugs and he put her up against the wall.”
A Kildare father who lives with his pregnant partner and their six children in charity accommodation has made a desperate appeal to be rehoused.
Nickey Flood and Nicola Higgins (both 38) and their children are currently living in a family hub in Co Kildare.
However, according to Mr Flood, substandard accommodation including mould and dampness has caused some of his children to become sick and require hospital treatment.
He also claims that his pregnant partner was assaulted at the hub while she was three months’ pregnant.
They've appealed to Kildare County Council for alternative accommodation but to no avail.
“I have a 17-month-old baby, a three-and-a-half year old child, and four teenagers, 15, 17, 18 and 19,” Mr Flood said. “And Nicola is 20 weeks’ pregnant, as well.
“We've been living here in the family hub since November but Nicola was assaulted there a while back, when we first moved in. Your man was off his head on the drugs and he put her up against the wall.
“The guards were involved and we went to the council and asked to be moved out but they wouldn't do anything for us.
“The place we're in at the moment is covered in mould and there's only two bedrooms.
"The three girls, all teenagers, and the 18-year-old lad are sleeping in the one room and it's full of condensation the whole time and damp.
“Me and herself are in the other room, sharing a double bed with the other boys.
“The little boys, the one-year-old and the three-year-old are back and forth to the hospital with septicaemia, hand, foot and mouth and scarlet fever.
“They’ve got these bad rashes, like blisters, that have broken out all over them.
"The doctors in the hospital were asking about the conditions they are living in and I told them about the mould.
"They said that’s where they’re picking up the infections.
“It's not good for their lungs either. The young one is asthmatic and the young lad who was a heart murmur are in the same room, breathing that in, 24/7.
“At this stage they’re sleeping on the floor in the sitting room. It's not healthy at all. I've made several complaints.
"But the last time I talked to the council in the homeless section they told me there was nothing they could do.”
Mr Flood said they had been made homeless after the landlord of the property they were renting in Newbridge raised the rent in October of last year.
“I was working away, paying the rent, which was €1,400 but then the landlord said he wanted another €700.
"We couldn't afford it, so we went to Kildare County Council and asked them for emergency accommodation.
“When we did get the emergency commendation I lost my job.
"It's hard to be in this situation, on Jobseeker’s benefit and trying to rare the kids and with a new baby on the way. I just feel like I need to highlight our story because we’re getting nowhere.
“There's no point in calling the council anymore because at the start they're telling us it would take 14 years (to get a house) and then it was ten years.
"Now it's four to five, to six years but we can't wait that long. My kids are sick. I'd say to them please get us a home, we're not putting up with this anymore.”
Kildare County Council said they cannot comment on individual incidents or complaints.
"If a person wishes to raise or discuss an issue, they can do so via telephone to customer services or by email firstname.lastname@example.org and the matters will be examined,” the council added.
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