'Is the Govt on the side of the vulture funds?' - Leeside Apartments residents call for action on evictions

Residents facing eviction from a Cork apartment complex are urging the Housing Minister to do more to protect them.

Up to 20 households living in the Leeside development have been told by the Residential Tenancies Board that they have to leave within a matter of weeks.

It ruled last week that the vulture fund which owns the complex has the right to remove the tenants in order to carry out renovation works.

Campaigners believe Lugas Capital is using a loophole in the law to force a mass eviction and hike rents, and want Eoghan Murphy to bring in new laws to stop it.

Pictured (left to right) Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry and residents of Leeside Apartments, Cork, Aimee O Riordan, Chairperson Councillor Fiona Ryan along with Fr Peter McVerry at a press conference today. Pic: Rollingnews.ie

One of the campaigners, Aimee O'Riordain, says she has family she can stay with but others could end up homeless.

She said: "I really do fear that my friends are going to be on the street. They are going to be fighting amongst others to get a bed for the night.

"I know one family, in particular, there is four of them living in a one-bedroom apartment, because that's all they can afford."

Ms O'Riordain says those affected have been met with utter silence from local politicians.

She said: "In particular, Mr Coveney and Micheál Martin. Cork is their constituency, this is happening at their doorstep.

It's a national problem now, it's not just my problem, it's everybody's problem.

"We're just getting a little bit of go-ahead, because there is so many of us being evicted."

Campaigner Peter McVerry also says it is a problem that is happening nationwide.

He said: "The law allows landlords to evict people on the grounds of substantial refurbishment, this is clearly substantial refurbishment, so I think the law is on the side of the vulture funds.

"I think we have got to change the law, I think the Government has got to decide whose side is it on.

"Is it on the side of the bankers, the vulture funds and the property owners? Or is it on the side of tenants who are struggling?"

Earlier, the Dáil had to be suspended after a row over the housing issue.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry raised the case of the residents of the Leeside Apartments, but he was not happy with the answer from Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, leading to the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl suspending the house.

- Digital Desk

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