Conor Kenneally with his father Aaron and mother Kelly Lucas.

A young family from Youghal with medical needs, who have turned down the offer of a house over the lack of a second bathroom say they are facing long-term homelessness if the council can’t meet their needs.
Aaron Kenneally and Kellie Lewis say the family are struggling to find accommodation that suits their specific medical needs for which the possibility of cross contamination would be a serious issue.
Aaron who is carer for his partner Kellie and 16-month-old son told the East Cork Journal “We are not looking for a 3 bedroom it’s just two separate bathing areas we need. Even if we had an en-suite”
His son Conor has aspiration symptoms meaning anything the toddler drinks fills up his lungs, as a result he must be fed through a tube in his stomach and Kellie 22 has been fitted with a shunt to treat excess fluid on the brain and wears a colostomy bag following complications with her bowel.
The couple say they have been given an ultimatum either they accept a formal offer of another available house or make themselves intentionally homeless.
They are currently in emergency accommodation on a week to week basis at a cost of €1000 per week and say that they have nowhere to turn to because landlords are refusing to accept their Housing Assistant Payment.
A frustrated Kellie says “There are homes they could give us. For them (the council) to give us a 3 bed it would solve their problem and it would save them a hell of a lot of money too.”
“I’m really stressed we don’t know what to do. I’ve been in and out of hospital. I’m only out of hospital on Friday they thought I had a stroke and I’m only 22.”
The family of three are on the council’s housing list for the past two years. Last August they had to present themselves to homeless services as conditions at Kellie’s family home became cramped.
Cork County Council say that they do not comment on individual cases.
However a spokesperson for the authority did say they have a statutory duty to assist people who are homeless. This may involve providing temporary accommodation until suitable housing is found through one of the various housing options, i.e. private rented accommodation, HAP, Local Authority Standard Housing or housing provided by the AHBs (voluntary housing bodies).

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