Government must stop treating renters as second class citizens

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
09 March 2021

As record numbers of workers remain out of work and with no clear path to reopening, Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan has urged the Government to extend the ban on evictions and rent increases until the end of 2021.

Senator Moynihan said that Government’s haphazard approach to protecting renters during the most difficult time in living memory is absolutely disgraceful and will directly contribute to an increase in homelessness.

Senator Moynihan said:

“With cabinet set to agree an extension of the ban on evictions and rent increases until July, I am urging them to take a long-term approach and extend this ban until the end of the year. The short-termism of another three month extension just goes to show how out of touch this Government is with the lived experience of renters and workers in Ireland today.

“The Government is showing blatant disrespect to renters by continuing to stick a band aid on the crisis in housing that has been exacerbated by Covid. Renters remain powerless, and it is clear that there’s no one speaking on their behalf at the cabinet table.

“Who knows what the situation will be in July? There is no plan in place to reopen our economy and get renters who are out of work back into their jobs. A three month extension just kicks this issue down the road, leaving renters who are already worried in a crisis situation.

“This Government is not thinking about young or working people. Yes, the wage subsidy scheme and unemployment payments remain, but there is no commitment to protect the homes of these workers.

“Labour believe that a full eviction and rent increase ban must be implemented by Government now until the end of 2021 to give renters certainty beyond the next three months. Why should those who rent not be given the same opportunity to a roof over their head as homeowners?

“We know that most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market. The Government needs to step in and protect renters until this pandemic ends.”

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