Government’s haphazard approach to rental sector must end now
Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called on the Government to end the stop start approach to managing the eviction ban put in place in recognition of the impact of the pandemic on employment. Speaking today, Senator Moynihan urged the Government to use the current state of play in the rental market to take an ambitious and long-term approach to end the cycle of family homeless in particular.
Senator Moynihan said:
“It’s clear from discussing the Residental Tenancies Bill in Comittee today that Government continue to deal with the rental crisis in a haphazard manner. The content of the Bill or any of its proposals were not made available to the Committee, yet the Government expected that this would just be waived through. This Government is taking a piecemeal approach to the protection of renters during the pandemic. They’re treating renters as second class citizens.
“The Government proposes that anyone registered as being in arrears will have their protections extended from April to July. This will affect some 700 renters out of the 200,000 renters in this country. However, once the 5km limit is lifted, renters who are in the private rental sector, in the most insecure rental tenancies, can be evicted.
“The Government needs to use this eviction ban as an opportunity to examine the housing structures in place to end family homelessness and protect the most vulnerable in our economy. There’s a wider issue to look at, and the Government must end it’s stop start approach to renters in the middle of a pandemic with huge unemployment, and youth unemployment in particular.
“Government is showing disrespect to renters. In addition to the ban on evictions remaining unclear, the Minister for Finance drops the bomb that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which has protected the most vulnerable workers in our economy, will be reviewed in June. This constant insecurity is damaging peoples mental health and playing with their lives. It has to stop.”