TDs from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Greens, instead of taking on our suggestions voted this down. Now with homelessness at record levels, a dire shortage of accommodation for rent, and up to 3,000 families at risk of eviction when the ban ends on 1st April, the situation will only get worse.
This is no coherent plan from the government and the Minister confirmed to a question by Duncan Smith in the Dáil on Thursday that they had no modelling on the effect of lifting the eviction ban would have on homelessness.
It’s unconscionable that the Housing Minister is set to jet off to Atlanta and Savannah next week when the country is in the teeth of a housing disaster. Until a strategy is in place to deal with the tsunami of evictions expected once the eviction ban is lifted, Minister O’Brien must stay and develop a plan to work for vulnerable renters.
As a short term measure, Labour has called for a focus on the tenant in situ scheme which allows for local authorities to step in and buy the homes of renters who are in receipt of state housing supports, and whose landlord wishes to sell up.
The primary cause of homelessness is the carrying out of evictions from the private rental sector and while we know an eviction ban is not a silver bullet, an extension would have given some more breathing space to build more social and affordable homes.