Retrofitting scheme cannot be used as an excuse for eviction
Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has demanded government put in place a no eviction order for any home in receipt of the retrofitting grant.
Speaking today, Senator Moynihan said this scheme must also be targeted to support those who are feeling the increased cost of hearing their homes most.
Senator Moynihan said:
“We welcome in principle the retrofitting scheme announced by government today. As well as the obvious and urgent need to retrofit homes from a climate perspective, this measure is desperately needed as another tool to tackle the increased cost of living.
“However, it is worth noting that government only provided €35 million for the retrofitting of 1,293 social homes last November. These homes are occupied by people on mainly low income who are feeling it in their pockets most, as heating bills continue to soar. Meanwhile, government is today floating €352 million for private homes in this scheme. These schemes need to be better targeted so that the measure reaches and helps people in society who need it most.
“Indeed, there must be specific rules attached to the provision of these grants for private homes. It cannot be used as an excuse by private landlords to raise rents or kick out tenants. I am calling on government to guarantee that there will be strong protections for renters in the private market associated with this scheme. Anyone in receipt of a retrofit loan cannot be allowed to use this work as a grounds for eviction or to raise rents.
“Ireland has long needed an ambitious retrofitting programme and while we welcome the move in this regard today, it cannot be renters in precarious rental accommodation that pay the price. Government must put in a no eviction order on any property that receives the grant.
“Deep retrofitting has the dual impact of lowering emissions for the planet and lowering energy costs for households. It needs to be better targeted for households who are feeling it most. People need a break from this government as they struggle to make ends meet with soaring prices and stagnant wages.”