by Anne Heffernan
I’ve been under so much financial stress since the end of 2009. I am at my wits end. I need a job to pay my way and be able to live any kind of normal life. This has been denied me for 6 years now and I really cannot go on any longer. I cannot pretend anymore that my lack of finances is not impacting my life in every way.
My mental health is at an all time low, as is my personal confidence, my physical health and my emotional health. I am at rock bottom and it is affecting my interactions with other people. I feel stressed, anxious and irritable all the time.
I’m currently doing a course in social media for business and on the way in this morning the thought crossed my mind to keep driving and present myself at St. Patrick’s psychiatric hospital…that’s how low I feel.
I have a very small income, am not entitled to job-seekers allowance and the other benefits that go along with it.
Four years ago I put my home up for sale, had low interest in it, got one offer after two years, and having dropped the price by over €100,000 took the first offer I got, thinking all my financial troubles would be sorted.
I moved into my new home one year ago and right now I cannot afford to live in it!
I advertised for people to share my home but got no uptake. I currently have it up to rent as a whole house and feel like I am homeless. I’m not homeless, I can go and live with my sister; but I do feel homeless!
I bought my first home over 30 years ago and haven’t got a mortgage for the past 17 years, having paid it off early. Despite having no mortgage on my home, I still find I cannot make ends meet.
I’ve had some enquiries this week by people looking to rent my home, which is good news, right?
The problem is the enquiries are coming from people looking to know if I will accept rent allowance. I don’t really have a problem accepting people on rent allowance – everyone has their own story to tell and reason for their circumstances and I don’t want to be judge and jury on such issues. But I do have a problem with a government that facilitates crazy schemes and gives little support or understanding to other people’s circumstances.
I can accept one of my viewers who are on rent allowance to rent my home, which will bring me in some little income, but I’m angry that after working in this country since I was 9 years of age, I have to evict myself and accept rent allowance of up to €750 each month from a tenant who can live in my home at a cost of only €160 per month to them while the government will sub the balance for them to enjoy the home I have created through struggle, hardship and sacrifice over a lifetime.
Do you think this is fair, do you think this is discriminatory?
It’s time to put the needs of society before profits – do you agree?
Read more in my book.