Eviction ban needed to halt rise in family homelessness

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
24 September 2021
  • Number of families and children without a home rose again in August
  • Another 23 families and now 2,189 children homeless
  • Minister must act swiftly on Labour’s renters’ rights bill

Urgent action is needed to restrict evictions to stem the rise in family homelessness said Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan as the August figures released by the Department showed a further relentless rise in the number of children without a home, calling for Labour Renters’ Rights bill to be swiftly implemented.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Another month on and the August figures show a further rise in family homelessness. The Minister has the power to act and I am asking him to swiftly implement our renters’ rights bill that would radically restrict the grounds for evictions. We know from the statistics that the main reasons for terminating a tenancy are the sale of the property (51%) or the use of the home for a relative (24%). Labour’s bill would restrict these and ensure families are protected. Despite record funding the government’s policies aren’t working because the primary cause of homelessness is evictions and the Minister won’t act comprehensively.

“In August the number of people without a home rose again by 80 taking it up to 8,212 people. There were a further 23 families made homeless, taking it to 953 without a secure home, while the number of children increased by 60 to 2,189. This is simply not acceptable in a country as wealthy as Ireland. This will have serious developmental impacts if we don’t act.

“The number of young people aged 18-24 without a home also continued to increase, now reaching 984 people, up by 41. It’s clear that spiralling rents, lack of supply and the ease of eviction is impacting severely on young people. The student accommodation crisis will only make this worse.

“Every month we now see the homelessness figures creeping up and figures clearly show that children and young people are suffering most. Most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market.

“The eviction ban during the pandemic severely curtailed the rise of homelessness and we had started to see a fall but now it’s going in the wrong direction again. If the Minister had the courage to implement the changes proposed in Labour’s Renters Rights bill it would have a tangible impact on these month on month increases that are now being observed again.

“The Minister needs to ensure renters are adequately protected as the economy recovers and people get back to work. It’s time to actually freeze rents until more supply and ban no fault evictions, and ensure when a property is sold that a tenant can remain in place.”

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