Homeless families living in hotel in receivership offered 'suitable alternative accommodation'

Karyn Valente with her son Marc, 16, outside Lynam's Hotel, which is in receivership. Picture: Stephen Collins

All of the homeless families living in a hotel which is now in receivership have been offered “suitable alternative accommodation”, Dublin City Council said yesterday.

Lynam’s Hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell St has acted as an emergency shelter for homeless families in recent months, but it must cease trading by next Monday.

While the future operation of the hotel will be decided in court next week, all of the families were told to leave by the weekend.

There is no contractual arrangement between the council and the hotel, which has been put in receivership by the National Assets Management Agency.

The hotel was accommodating homeless families when the council was unable to find accommodation for them.

The council has been pushed to the limit in dealing with the housing crisis, with 939 families in homeless accommodation in Dublin. Around 600 are in hotels.

The council met with all of the families staying in the hotel over the last couple of weeks to help them locate alternative accommodation.

A short statement issued yesterday by the city council said the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and the council were currently in negotiation about Lynam’s Hotel.

“All families have been offered suitable alternative accommodation,” it read.

However, it is understood that around five homeless families, including 10 children, did not want to leave the hotel.

Leanne Heffernan, who has been living in the hotel with two young children since being made homeless some months ago, said she refused to move to a nearby hotel because it had too many stairs.

Leanne, whose youngest child is just three months old, was one of a number of families who sought help from the campaign group Irish Housing Network.

The network, formed in May last year, is made up of 19 housing rights groups across Ireland.

It held a rally in support of the homeless families yesterday, and another is planned for today.

Niamh McDonald of Dublin Central Housing Action, part of the network, said they wanted secure accommodation for the families.

“They self-accommodate at the moment, which means they have to look for hotel rooms every two to three days,” said Ms McDonald.

Anna Farrell Osawe and her Nigerian-born husband have been staying in two separate rooms at the hotel with their five children, aged from 16 down to five months old.

Anna said they had been offered a single room with six bunk beds in a nearby hotel.

“With my husband working in security at night and five children in the same room, he won’t be able to sleep during the day,” said Ms Osawe.


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