This week, Prime Time asked a question on our social media channels: What is happening with housing in Ireland at the moment? People responded by sending in voice messages detailing their own experiences of finding and keeping a home. For some, increasing prices have led to an escape from negative equity, but for many others, price inflation is leaving them locked out of ownership and stuck in an uncertain rent trap.

Home, for many, remains expensive, and insecure.

Laurie, 40, Dublin

I'm a single mom of three children. I have just found out that my landlord, who I've been renting from for seven years, is getting the house valued in order to sell it. I'm now in a situation where I'm going to have to leave Dublin. I can’t afford rental prices for a house in my area.

They've told me I have three months in order to find a new place. That's the legal requirement. The house will probably sell quite quickly.

I'm sitting in my car so my children don't overhear this because I'm thinking about moving to Donegal to see if I could maybe commute to a city like Derry to get work within a city context, but still afford the rent and find them new schools by September. It's a really f**cked situation.

Mary, 65, Leinster

I have two of my children still living at home, a daughter and son in their 30s. They have no partner to buy with and I don't think single people can buy on their own. They're not paying rent bills, in the hope that they can save, but housing is going up faster than people can save on an average wage. I also worry about them in the future, having to pay rent when they reach pension age. At least we own our own home and we can live on our pension.

I don't think people know the effect that the situation is having on older couples who still have adult children living at home. Outwardly all four of us live in peace and harmony, but inwardly there's a lot of sadness and frustration by both generations about the future.

There's a complete lack of hope for the new generation making a life independently. Government policy has been all wrong for years and I voted for them. Not anymore.

Jessica, 56, Dublin

I've rented all my adult life because, as a freelancer, I could never access a mortgage. The fact that I've never missed a rent payment in 30 years means nothing when it comes to being offered a home loan, even if your rent is higher than a mortgage would be. I'm now middle-aged, single, and I have no children.

This past year, I've been made homeless for the first time. I was evicted after fifteen years of trouble free tenancy so that the landlord could refurbish and rent to multiple tenants at a much higher rent, which is what he did.

Like most people my age, my parents are gone and there's no family home to return to. After vacating that house last September, I couch-surfed for five months.

At the moment, I have temporary respite in a friend's flat, which they are willing to rent me for a few months before they move in themselves as planned. When it's time to leave here, I'll be homeless again. I've been on the Dublin City Council housing list for 10 years, and there isn't a hope of reaching the top of it any time soon.

The people like me who might be older, single and or freelance or unemployed, who make up half the council housing list, are virtually invisible when it comes to housing.

The country is full of people who either never married or are not in a relationship at the moment. There are also couples without children. Where are these people supposed to go?

Even with this recent scandal over the Maynooth debacle, the only people of concern that are mentioned in public discussion seem to be first-time buyers or young couples with children. It's as if the rest of us don't exist.


Watch on RTÉ Player:
RTÉ Investigates: Land of Hope and Homeless


Scott, 39, Kildare

I couldn't be happier with prices and rents going up. I bought a house at the peak of 2006, when there was no tax breaks or support for deposits or for when the market crashed.

My house literally was halved in price. However I kept the house and now the price of the house is increasing every month, and so are rents, which for me is brilliant.

Long may it last.

Rikke, 43, Dublin

Myself and my husband live in an apartment with our two kids aged 13 and 11. It's two bedrooms in Dublin 4 and we pay 2,350 per month which seems like a good deal because it is a nice apartment, warm, dry etc and the management company is fab. But it's only a good deal because rents in Dublin are so outrageous.

We have been looking to buy a home for about a year. We were bidding on a house in Harold's Cross last month but got outbid. It went more than 100k above asking. We and our kids would really like a dog but we can't get one where we currently live as it is not allowed and probably not really fair to the dog who wouldn't be able to get outside when needed.

It's really stressful to have no sense of how long it will take to buy a home and we are among the lucky people who can actually afford to buy in Dublin. I am extremely grateful to have financial security and I know that many do not and that housing insecurity follows soon behind in the current housing market, especially for single parents. It's immoral how they are treated! We are traumatising a whole cohort of children growing up in insecure housing. I don't know how those parents cope.

Pádraig, 44, Dublin

I’m single and I’m trying to buy on my own. I also have a son who is 11. I find that the market is really, really made for couples. It’s super difficult. Anything I do go for will go beyond my price range or they could be do-er uppers that I can’t afford to put 10 or 20k in to do up. I also find that all these brand new places, you just can't get them. They're all gone. They've been bought already before they're even finished.

I also have some inheritance money so I’m not able to avail of any of the grants available to first time buyers.

Louise, 31, West Cork

I've been here for three years now and I've been saving to buy my own house. I'm self-employed and I work remotely at the moment.

I was celebrating a couple of weeks ago as I got mortgage approval in principle. But over the last few weeks it's transpired that because of my budget and because of just the demand in the area and the country in general at the moment, I just can't afford to buy anything.

The owners of a house that I was considering buying have changed their mind because they feel if they put it back on the market instead of selling directly to me, that they'll make way more money.

I'm just in a sticky situation now where I have my mortgage approved and I'm ready to go. And there's just nothing available. And it doesn't seem like there'll be anything coming down the line either over the next few months.

Mrinal, 31, Galway

I live with my wife and our six month old child. I think what is lacking in Ireland is morality and ethics on the part of landlords. I think these are people who are very well settled and they have made fortunes in their life and they still want to charge exorbitant rent from people who cannot just afford to make the ends meet.

Ann, Dublin

I had to leave home with four children to escape a violent relationship. It is impossible to get housing for women like me and it's impossible once you have children to get a mortgage. Even if you're a professional woman and earning a very good salary, every single child is accounted for as 400 euros as a cost and taken away from your net pay. So women like me are basically locked out of ever buying a house again.

Luckily, in my situation, I had very good friends that were able to house us. But many women and men who are entrapped in violent relationships can never exit because there's no housing, nor is there anywhere to actually go and seek refuge.

It's a form of institutional entrapment.