Resident fears locks will be changed on house as eviction looms on Offaly estate

There are only six houses left occupied at Locke House View in Tullamore out of a total of 15.

Last January, residents were told they had to leave their homes by August 19 this year. The letters came after the estate was auctioned in June 2021 at a price of 1.665 million euros.

Most residents managed to find alternative accommodation, but some were not so lucky.

Sofiane Guedri has lived in Locke House View since 2017, he said he now had people on his doorstep every day warning him he had to leave. Sofiane said he was only too happy to move but had nowhere to go.

He has been in contact with Offaly County Council but until today, Tuesday August 23, he has been unable to find anywhere else to live.

He is now afraid to go out for shopping as he says he has been told that if he does not leave the house the locks will be changed and his belongings will be put in a dumpster. He doesn’t know who the people calling his house are but they come every day, he says.

”I have to go to the dentist, I’ve been awake all night with a toothache, but I’m scared in case I come back and all my stuff is in a dumpster and the locks are changed.’ ‘

Sofiane’s electricity was also cut. He called his electric company and they said they couldn’t figure it out because he was paying his bills.

“They said they would reconnect me for €130, but I said why should I pay that when I paid my bills.”

Sofiane said that one evening when he returned home, there was a jeep in front of his house and the electricity had mysteriously been restored.

In the meantime, workers have started to renovate his house while he still lives there. Scaffolding has been erected in front of her window and Sofiane says they want to remove the chimney from the house.

He is now on the waiting list for an HLM. He was asked if he would live in Clara. ”I said I’ll go now. I’m ready.” But so far, he hasn’t received any news. Sofiane also lost her job in an engineering company during Covid.

Work is progressing rapidly on the estate and the houses are being transformed into energy-efficient homes. Those that are completed now have solar panels installed and they have been repainted.

Sofiane said a man who had lived on the estate for 21 years moved back to England and failed to get his bail back.

Last January, another resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “Half the houses are rented by the municipality under RAS, we have to wait to see if the municipality will accommodate us, we don’t know. I am a municipal tenant. It is a private house rented by the town hall. I contacted the town hall. They just say you’ll have to wait and see what happens later around the date. “It is understood that this particular tenant still lives on the estate.

What was once a tight-knit community has been fractured. What the future will hold for those who remain is unknown.

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