8,830 people without a home is damning indictment of government policy
• 698 additional people homeless since July simply unacceptable
• Eviction ban urgently needed
Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan said it is simply unacceptable and unbelievable that 8,830 people are without a home today. As the number of people living homeless increased by 4% month on month and with many sectors of work forced to close again due to the pandemic, Senator Moynihan said the government must implement an eviction ban.
Senator Moynihan said:
“Another month on and the October figures show a further rise in family homelessness. There are an additional 355 more people living homeless since last month, including an increase of 169 children. This represents a 7% increase and it’s past time that government intervened in this.
“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. 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.
“The number of young people aged 18-24 without a home also continues to increase, now reaching 1,053 young people. It’s clear that spiralling rents, lack of supply and the ease of eviction is impacting severely on young people. The ongoing student accommodation crisis is only making 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.
“As we face into another uncertain winter and with many sections of society already closing due to the pandemic, the Minister needs to ensure renters are adequately protected. 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.”