Meet the Molloys: one Galway family reveals their struggle to find a home in the peak of the housing crisis
Laura Molloy is at her wits’ end.
The 32-year-old mother of two has been searching for a new home since a phone call from the landlord in late July.
But she hasn’t been able to find anything – and if nothing turns up by the end of September, she and her family will be out on the street.
“I am desperate not to be homeless,” Laura says.
The young family have lived in their house in Camillaun Park in Westside for the past seven years.
Although they signed a year’s lease when they first moved in, Laura says, she hasn’t seen the landlord since.
She and her husband Joe continued to pay rent as their son Sean grew up and they welcomed baby Rian into the family.
Sean is now nine years old and his brother is only 20 months.
Their parents both work part time in the city – Laura as a hairdresser and Joe at a construction company.
At first the landlord told them that he wanted to give the house to his son and friends for college.
He gave Laura until September 1 to move out.
But after she contacted Threshold and learned that they legally have 196 days to leave, she spoke to him again.
Following their second conversation, the landlord gave them until the end of September.
“He thought this was more than a generous amount of time,” Laura says.
“I’ve been applying and searching for houses and have been refused for the ones I applied for…I have great references and both of us are working part-time. We have both never been out of work.”
Laura says she has been looking for places as far away as Moycullen and Headford as well as in the city.
She even contacted the city council, who told her to apply for the Housing Assistance Payment scheme.
But they still need to find a house first.
Meanwhile families all over Ireland are falling into homelessness, with one young family sleeping in Tallaght Garda Station because they had nowhere to go.
So securing a place is looking less and less likely for the Molloys.
According to Laura, they have been on the waiting list for council housing for nine years.
She feels as if no one cares.
“I have made them aware of my situation,” Laura explains. “I’ve been onto local TDs and no one has helped me or got back to me. My stress levels are through the roof.”
Her two young boys have problems of their own.
Sean has ADHD and sensory processing disorder, and Rian is being assessed for autism.
And Laura herself is suffering from anxiety due to their situation.
“I literally don’t know how much more I can take,” she says. “Every door is getting shut in our faces.”
If you have a house or know of anything available, please contact Laura Molloy on Facebook.