First Christmas in our new home

“Receiving the keys was like winning the lotto. I don’t think we’re over the shock of it” – CHI Member Davina Slattery.

“Before moving into our CHI home here at Baunacloka Heights, we were living in an apartment complex at the other side of town. It was a lot different than having your own house. We had an apartment with no back garden or front area for the kids to play in it. I had to share facilities for washing clothes and I had a flight of steps to carry the kids’ car seats up. It was a three-bedroom apartment which was okay space-wise, but it was all on one level and the living room and kitchen and dining area were all together. There was nowhere really for the kids to play or relax in unless they went to their bedrooms. It was very cramped when we were all together in the sitting room. Now we have a back garden and there’s space to play for the kids and their friends to play.

Davina’s partner Brendan Meehan and their 8-month-old son Bradley outside their new CHI home in Baunacloka Heights, Mungret Gate, Mungret, Limerick. Photo: Conor Healy, Picture it Photography

There were other kids where we were living before, but they were at one side of the village, and we were at the other. We didn’t let the kids out to play either as there was nothing to do. There was no green space, just a square with cars. The weeks could be a bit bland for the kids, they’d go to school and to home and stay in apartment until school the following the day. We used to do as much as we could outside the apartment at the weekend – bring them outdoors because they were being stuck in all week.

Our lives have completely changed since we got the new place it’s amazing. We had no security in our old place, we didn’t know the day that we would have to go, it could have been sold at any point and that hangs over you. We always knew we couldn’t stay there forever. This place is our home, the kids have a back garden and their own friend groups in school and in the neighbourhood. There’s no more commuting across town for school like we had in the last place, so I don’t have the leave early in the morning. My daughter is so happy going to school every morning now the commute to school is shorter.  There are days pulling up outside the house and you stare and say, ‘oh my god this is real?’.  It’s a massive thing to move into a new state-of-art home, especially with young kids. They have their home, they have their back garden, they have their friends – this is all we ever wanted.

Receiving the keys was like winning the lotto. I don’t think we’re over the shock of it – everyone in our lives now know about CHI.  It’s given our children a future – you couldn’t have gotten better. We’re so blessed! Niamh, the Housing Officer, is like a part of our family even though she doesn’t know! This is the start to many wonderful Christmases in our forever home.   

I’m looking forward to Christmas and getting to know our neighbours more in the coming months. I know we’ve met a few on litter picking days. There’s a better sense of community here than we had before. Everyone talks and salutes whether they know you by first name or not everyone.”