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Margaret Watson is homeless

category dublin | housing | news report author Saturday May 28, 2005 21:12author by John Dunne - Housing Action Campaignauthor phone 087 666 2454 Report this post to the editors

Living in a tent

Margaret watson is living in a tent outside the Dun Laoghaire Housing Department.

Come and visit.
Margaret's Tent.
Margaret's Tent.

Margatet is Homeless.

Margaret suffers serious ill health.

Margaret is living on the street in a tent.

Send the housing authority an e/mail at housing@dlrcoco.ie and ask them to help her.

author by concerned dubpublication date Mon May 30, 2005 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lets hope the council see sense over their treatment of this woman.
Who are the Housing Action Campaign as I would like to know more as to how help them?

author by Alpublication date Mon May 30, 2005 14:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A DESPERATE Dun Laoghaire woman camped with her furniture outside the Town Hall last week in an effort to get the council to re-house her.Council tenant, Margaret Watson (48) and her adult daughter have nowhere to live after losing their place in cheap private accommodation.
Ms Watson has a joint tenancy in a council house in Dun Laoghaire with her sister, but was forced to move out three years ago following family problems and ill-health brought on by stress.
She managed to get cheap accommodation with friends but that property was sold last week and she now has nowhere to go.
Ms Watson cannot claim rent allowance because her name is still on the tenancy of her original home and she says she can’t afford to pay rent for private accommodation.
But she fears that if she takes her name off the tenancy agreement, the council will put her back on the bottom of the housing list. She currently owes the council e5,500 in rent arrears on her original home, mainly for the time she was not living there.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council say that they cannot offer an existing tenant a second housing unit, but would offer a home to Ms Watson and her daughter if she surrendered the tenancy of her sister’s house.
Ms Watson told Southside People that she feels she has been badly treated by the council.
“They knew I was sick and I had to leave my house,” Ms Watson said. “They were saying maybe they would move me, then they said they couldn’t. In the end friends offered me cheap accommodation, but they’ve sold up and I can’t live there anymore.
“I feel like I’ve been treated like dirt. I was born and reared in Dun Laoghaire and I didn’t just pack up that house, I had to get out. The council have been stringing me along. They said they’d help but they haven’t - they’ve cornered me into doing this.”
Local activist Richard Boyd Barrett (SWP) said that he has been negotiating with the council on Ms Watson’s behalf but they have failed to give any firm commitment to re-house her in the near future.
“Margaret is in a desperate situation here,” Mr Boyd Barrett said. “They (the council) say they won’t house her until suitable accommodation comes up for both her and her sister at exactly the same time. With the existing housing shortage that could take years.”
Mr Boyd Barrett is calling on the council to “show compassion and act immediately” to find accommodation for Margaret and her daughter.
“This is the bitter result of the council’s failure to build sufficient council housing over recent years,” he said. “People in desperately cramped family situations or with nowhere to live at all are left to rot on the housing list or told to fend for themselves.
“This case highlights the need for emergency action to build social housing.”
A spokeswoman for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said that they have been in discussion with Margaret Watson, and with Richard Boyd Barrett on her behalf, for several months.
“On compassionate grounds, the council’s housing department is doing everything it can to help Ms Watson with her accommodation needs that have arisen due to a family dispute,” the spokeswoman said.
She added that the council assessed the needs of Ms Watson and her daughter and offered them a two bed unit, if she cleared her arrears of rent and surrendered her original tenancy.
“Mr Boyd Barrett has been in contact with the council on Margaret’s behalf numerous times and advised of the position,” she said. “Margaret Watson was again interviewed with Mr Boyd Barrett and was asked to surrender her tenancy but she has refused. She was again told that the council would give her a written commitment to provide her and her daughter with a two-bedroom unit.”
However, the council didn’t say when they would provide the accommodation. (http://www.southsidepeople.ie/index.php?option=news&task=viewarticle&sid=1118)

author by concerned dubpublication date Mon May 30, 2005 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So then the Housing Action Campaign is an SWP initiative/campaign/front I take it

author by Dave - swppublication date Mon May 30, 2005 15:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At the moment the housing action campaign is the people who are helping to (wo)man Margaret's picket. A lot of local SWP members and a lot of dun leary heads and Margaret's friends and family etc. We meet every night at the the picket top decide what to do teh following day. If you think you can help please drop[ by. 5000 people have now signed her petition. Anmd teh council has gone from offering her nothing to offering her aone bedroom- unsuitable because of her ill health ( she needs her daughter to take care) It would be great if this was the start of a bigger campaign on housing which could involve activists from across the left.

author by Ciarán O'Spublication date Mon May 30, 2005 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the last comment mentions her familly and friends have visited. Some familly and friends if they leave her on the street.....

author by Dennis Dennehypublication date Mon May 30, 2005 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You seem to be a bit slow on the uptake. Her family do care. She is trying to highlight the uncaring attitude of the council.

author by eeekkkkpublication date Mon May 30, 2005 16:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have you considered the possibility that her family might also be homeless / in B& B accomodation?

Go away.

BTW the HAC has a history going back to the months leading up to the seige of the wonderful Essie and Karl at Ultans Flats in the south inner city. Can't remember the year but would guess 1998/1999.

I was the pro for a little while in a generally positive campaign with many non-aligned activists taking part that after ultans lapsed into a pissing competition between activists from the sp and swp.

Months later I remember deciding that my energies would be better directed somewhere else when a woman in danger of eviction elsewhere in council flats on the northside was stuck in the middle (in her flat) of bickering activists from sp and swp fighting over the meagre spoils to be gained from association with her plight. I stood and watched that (in her flat!!) and decided that it was no longer a good way to spend my time

Pretty much everybody not in a party had left by then. Different party controlled local groups split off from a single campaign. Bickering over $$ followed which I happily managed to not allow myself to be dragged into. No more was heard by me anyway about the campaign.

2 experiences particularly stayed with me. Hearing a real human being for the first time in my life from one of parties using the term 'splitters' to describe other party members and more pleasantly having the experience of debating the Irish Property Owners PRO on Rodney Rice radio show where he argued that the problems of insecurity of tenants in rented housing would be best solved through MORE TAX BREAKS FOR LANDLORDS!!!!.

Essie Kealing (In her past she was First ever irish Woman Shop Steward @ Jacobs Biscuits) was absolutely inspiring throughout the Ultans episode and she became something of a folk hero for a period of time. Anyone know if she's still in the south inner city?

author by Republicanpublication date Tue May 31, 2005 11:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think John Dunne is a member of The Workers Party not the SWP.

author by Dave - swppublication date Tue May 31, 2005 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last i heard Essie (a fortnight ago) was still refusing to move to new place as permission to bring along her dog was being refused.
There are probably a few thousand John Dunnes out there, the one I know is swp.
Most of Margaret's supporters are council tenants themselves living in cramped conditions so they do not have the room to put her up even if that was going to help her. Anyway she is demanding her right to a house not looking for charity. She's now been there for nearly a fortnight so it would be great if people dropped by to show support or e-mail the council as suggested above.
Lastly any suggestions people have for Maragaret's campaign would be gladly received.

author by dave - swppublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After two weeks of a 24 hour picket dl/r council has caved in and Margaret Watson is to be housed. Full story online tmro. Thanks to all who supported her.

Related Link: http://www.swp.ie
author by Steve Hpublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 22:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Anyway she is demanding her right to a house not looking for charity". Its charity. No person has the right to demand a house.

author by Barrypublication date Thu Jun 02, 2005 22:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of course people have the right to a home and a roof over their heads .
jesus , what type of person are you?

author by CEO - Gigahertz Inc.publication date Sat Oct 01, 2005 07:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.SpareSomeChange.com is the homelessness search engine & poverty portal where you can find resources by state or custom query. Please give this web address to panhandlers and homeless people (they can use free computer/internet at the library). Also, please submit any homeless related websites/URLs so that others may find the help that they need.

http://www.CrisisSearch.com is the disaster search engine (sometimes people are left homles after natural diaster, war or house fires).

Related Link: http://www.GigahertzInc.com
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