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Based on our experience the following are the most frequently asked questions by people considering resettlement.

Q. Who is eligible?
R.R.I. does not discriminate against anybody. However, the entire resettlement programme is aimed at bringing new families into rural areas and priority is always given to families with young children.

Q. Do I have to be a local authority tenant?

Q. How much does the rent cost?
Landlords renting private houses can charge what they like. However, R.R.I. will not accept houses for referral to families which are obviously too dear. The R.R.I. Field Officer will discuss current rents at interview.

Q. Are there any grants available for moving?
NO. Yopur local welfare officer can advise as to whether you are elligable for financial assistance towards the cost of furniture removal.

Q. Do I have to pay a deposit?
Most private landlords look for a deposit and a months rent in advance. The R.R.I. Field Officer will advise in individual cases.

Q. How long does it take to get a house?
It is impossible to generalise. In the case of private rented houses, it is a question of supply and demand. If the supply is steady families may move within a few months of coming onto the R.R.I. list. If the supply is poor the waiting period could be far longer.

The R.R.I. Voluntary Housing project is ongoing. The Field Officer will advise.

Q. Will the house have a garden and shed?
Many rural houses have both. Some houses in villages have little or no space around them even though they may be only a few hundred yards from open countryside. The R.R.I. Field Officer will give you these details before you decide to travel to see a house.

sold houseQ. Is there an option to purchase the house?
It is very rare in private rented houses but it has happened - it is up to each landlord. This can be found out before deciding to rent. There is no right to purchase houses built under Voluntary Housing Schemes such as the new R.R.I. Voluntary Housing programme. These are regulations laid down by the Department of the Environment. For more information, contact the local authority housing section.

Q. What happens if the landlord wants to sell the house?
Tenants have very few rights in Ireland; it is the same in the city as in the country. Once the lease is up the landlord can sell if he wants or increase the rent. Resettled families have no more rights than anybody else. However, if a problem arises RRI and its associates give priority to finding other houses. The main problem is locating houses in the same areas.

Q. What is the success rate?
80 - 95%. Experience indicates that a family in a new house with security of tenure and low rent is unlikely to leave again. On average very few families want to return to city life. Personal problems within families sometimes lead to the family breaking up. In these cases one party might move to a town but very rarely do they go back to the city.

Q. What are the job opportunities?
A lot depends on the individual to make the most of the opportunities in any area (or indeed to create their own enterprise). A positive attitude is important. People should be pro-active in looking for work and advertising their skills (whatever they are) in the locality. In a thinly populated area anyone who becomes known as a good and willing worker will generally find himself/herself busy. However, rural communities are scattered and finding work may involve some travel.

catsQ. Are the houses near schools, villages?
Private rented houses can crop up anywhere. People have different views on what distance is. Some people want to be in amongst other houses and within walking distance of shops and schools; those people should only look at houses that comply with their requirements. Other people don’t mind (or sometimes prefer) being a mile or two from villages. The further out you go into the countryside the fewer houses will be close by. Also, a car becomes almost essential.

Very few people go for very isolated locations and experience indicates that it doesn’t work out well and R.R.I. Voluntary Houses will be in or convenient to villages and schools. However, each case is different and families are always advised to seriously consider the aspects of location before deciding to take any house that becomes available.

Q. Is there a good transport network?
Generally speaking, No.

Q. Is there any help when moving furniture?
Yes. The R.R.I. office will provide a letter for those seeking financial assistance from the Community Welfare Officer (CWO). Other aspects of dealing with furniture removal firms will be discussed at interview.

Q. Am I entitled to rent assistance after I move?
Generally speaking yes (in private rented houses). Discuss this at interview with the R.R.I. Field Officer.

Q. Can I get my welfare benefit at my new home?

Q. Will I be close to doctors, hospitals?
Some families have specific health requirements in relation to adults or children. It is essential that they examine carefully the availability or access to these medical services at any new location before they move. Local Health Boards will be able to advise in most cases.

Q. Is there a good postal, bin collection, service?
Postal service is generally the same as the city. Bin collection is not available in many rural areas. People often have to take their refuse to the local authority dump. Everybody should do their best to recycle and protect the environment.

Q. Can I decorate the house when I move?
In all cases the agreement of the owner should be sought.

Q. Is there any back up service after I move in?
The R.R.I. Field Officer will call as soon as possible to see that things are going o.k. He will offer the benefit of his advice based on long experience. R.R.I. are not in a position to offer financial assistance. R.R.I. do not wish to interfere in people’s lives or tell them how to run their affairs.

Advice is offered on the basis of goodwill. The Field Officer will continue to call if requested to do so. Rural communities are usually very friendly and supportive. However, in all relationships there has to be give and take on all sides. All people should be sensitive to each others differences in forming new friendships.

farm housesQ. If I am unhappy with the house will R.R.I. help me to find somewhere else?
If all precautions are taken beforehand to make sure you are making the right decision about the house and the location, then you shouldn’t end up in a bad situation. However, in situations where something went wrong in spite of everybody’s best efforts, R.R.I. have always given these families priority in regard to finding another house. R.R.I. do not become involved in disputes between landlord and tenant.

Q. Are there Gaelscoils, nondenominational schools, Steiner schools?
Parents should examine these aspects before moving to a rural area. Special needs or requirements of any kind cannot be guaranteed. They will vary from place to place.

Q. How does the cost of living compare?
Overall, small shop prices are dearer than large supermarkets. However, that said, despite the convenience of small local shops whether they be in the city or country, very many people choose to buy food in larger stores. All towns in Ireland have supermarkets.

Cost of living involves more than food, for example, pub prices are cheaper in rural areas. Car insurance is also a bit cheaper.

Budgeting on low income is always difficult. Families should try and make the best of what rural areas have to offer, for example, growing vegetables, keeping poultry, fishing, growing fruit, picking mushrooms--every little helps. A degree of self sufficiency is also very personally satisfying to many people. Unless families make a special effort they will not find the cost of living any cheaper in the country.

kids go kartQ. Is it safe for the children?
Rural Ireland is possibly the best environment possible for rearing children. Space, fresh air, and freedom from threats of many kinds all contribute to a healthy, safe environment. However, parents should continue to be vigiliant concerning their childrens welfare.

Q. Do they have facilities for sports, science etc. at school?
Primary schools are probably as well equipped as city schools. There are generally grassy areas around schools for play. Second level schools teach all subjects for exams. (some schools may not offer the full range and enquiries should be made if in doubt)

Sports and athletic facilities will vary from school to school. Most rural children go home on buses immediately school is over.

Q. Are the numbers small at school - are there waiting lists?
School class sizes are generally far smaller in rural schools. Many two teachers schools would have less than thirty pupils in total. Waiting lists would be an exception. Secondary schools are open to all students. For more information, see our section on schools, and look up the Department of Education section on schools, Department of Education (school search).

Q. What reasons do people have for not staying?
Firstly, rural resettlement works well for the large majority. Very few people actually move back to the city. Unfortunately personal problems within families can cause difficulties in some cases. These may have nothing to do with resettlement but may lead to the family splitting up. Mostly in these cases the separate parties go somewhere else in the area but very rarely back to the city. It is worth noting that personal problems of any kind that exist before moving will not necessarily be overcome by simply resettling. R.R.I. advise people not to move in these circumstances - at least without proper professional counselling beforehand.

rural housesQ. Are houses close to Dublin?
No. Almost all resettlement takes place on the Western side of the country and sometimes in the midlands. Property prices and availability make resettlement impossible on the east and south east area.

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