21 May 2022

Manorhamilton mother of 5 pleads for bigger house

Manorhamilton mother of 5 pleads for bigger house

A bedroom shared by Kelly's son and daughter

A Manorhamilton mother is “heartbroken” because her son cannot progress with his autistic therapy due to their living arrangements.

Kelly is married with five children, they have been living in a 3 bed council house in Manorhamilton for 16 years.
The family have been on the transfer list for a bigger house for years without any progress and they have been told that there are no bigger houses available “for the forseeable future.”

Her young son who is non-verbal needs a programme of therapy, but the autism team have told her that it is “pointless” to put a plan in place as he needs his own room. He has sensory issues and does not sleep well.
Kelly says her husband sleeps on the couch in the sitting room, her teenage daughter sleeps in a room with her brother, another son who has anxiety sleeps in the box room and she sleeps with their two younger sons.
She said the children who share rooms are exhausted, “they have no space” and she and her husband only get a few hours sleep at night.

They have tried looking for a private house to rent but she says there are no 4 bed houses to rent in the Manorhamilton area. Kelly feels like they have run out of options, but she “needs to get help for her son.”

Door hitting off the bed in the box bedroom in Kelly's Council house

The exhausted mother contacted the Leitrim Observer because she felt she had “no where else to turn.” She said she calls and emails Leitrim County Council Housing Department regularly but they have no news or progress.
Kelly said she contacted all local TDs and councillors but again she has had no help.

She noted Aodh Flynn from Chluainn Voluntary Housing and Mary Derkin from the Autism team have both written to Leitrim County Council about her plight.
She revealed, “Our mental health is really suffering and my son is deprived of the human right of his health needs. I would really like this made public so that I may get the help my son needs and all my children. We are all so unhappy all the time.”

The children range in age from 2-13 years in the house. Kelly's youngest son with autism takes over the sitting room during the day which means her older children cannot spend time there and must go to their shared bedrooms after school. He has issues with noise and touch.
She added her son who sleeps in the box room, cannot open the door fully as it hits off the bed.
Kelly further recalled that the autism team termed the living conditions “inhumane.”

Leitrim County Council told the paper, “There are currently two households on the Housing Transfer list that are seeking larger properties in the Manorhamilton area. Leitrim County Council does not have any 4-bedroom properties currently available for rent in our existing housing stock in the Manorhamilton area.” The Council is continuously seeking suitable properties to suit a variety of family sizes.

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