Metro Hotel residents offered emergency accommodation

Many of the families said they had been left with 'nowhere to go' after the fire

Metro Hotel residents offered emergency accommodation

Fire takes hold of the Metro Hotel in Ballymun in Dublin, 21-03-2018. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Updated 19:15

A number of families who were left with ‘nowhere to go’ following a major fire at the Metro Hotel in Dublin last month have been offered emergency accommodation.

The hotel has been providing financial support for around 50 people left homeless by the Ballymun blaze for the past two weeks – however that support is due to end tomorrow.

Their tenancies are also due to be ended.

A number of the families arrived at Dublin City Council’s homeless offices this afternoon seeking help.

Speaking to Newstalk at the DCC Placement Services building in Dublin this afternoon, Tarfa from Saudi Arabia said she has been living at the Metro building for the past seven years.

She told Newstalk that she has no idea what will happen next:

“I appreciate that they sent us to the hotel to stay for a couple of nights,” she said.

“But now we don’t have a place to go; I don’t have a place to stay – seriously, I don’t have enough money to offer for a place for myself and my son.

“So, what should I do?”

She said she lost everything she owned in the fire.

“All of what I saved over seven years is totally burned now,” she said.

“Nothing left, all my memories gone – even things belonging to my child; his certificates, his medals are burned now.”

She said her son has been suffering from shock and is now afraid to return to the area to attend school.

 

Inside the Metro Hotel. Image: Tarfa, Metro Apartments resident

Emergency accommodation

This evening, a spokesperson for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said all the families that presented this afternoon have been offered emergency accommodation.

She said the Executive received “a small number of calls” the morning after the fire.

Those who made contact were advised to contact the Community Welfare Officer for emergency needs and the DRHE office in Parkgate Street for emergency accommodation – however only two families subsequently made contact until this afternoon.

She said all of those who came to the office today were offered accommodation “due to the extenuating and difficult circumstances that these families have found themselves in.”

She said they will be provided with the accommodation “pending assessment of their homeless applications.”

Uncertain future

Earlier, another of those affected, Adeel Bashir, says he and his family have no idea where they will go.

He said his only hope is that his wife and two kids do not end up on the streets.

"You used to read on the news that there are a lot of homeless people in Dublin and they were saying that they put them up in a hotel.

"I was thinking maybe it should be OK, at least they have a roof over their head.

"But now I think it is very, very hard.

"Since we lived in a hotel for two weeks, it is so hard to survive in a hotel."

Inside the Metro Hotel. Image: Tarfa, Metro Apartments resident

Tarfa said she has had had great support from the Ballymun community and Supervalu donations – however her family has had no official support from the authorities until today.

A number of the families claim they have tried to organise meetings with TDs, Dublin City Council and the Department of Housing.

Reporting from Paul Quinn ...