Ukrainian housing crisis reiterates the need for eviction ban

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
11 April 2022

Government must implement an immediate ban on evictions from rental accommodation in light of the Ukrainian housing crisis, said Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan.

Senator Moynihan said:

“The eviction ban during the pandemic severely curtailed the rise of homelessness, but we are seeing the numbers go in the wrong direction again. Now, with the arrival of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the atrocities in their country, the private rental market will be further squeezed. It is in this context that I am calling on government to introduce an immediate ban on evictions.

“Most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market. Government needs to ensure that all renters are adequately protected, particularly as the cost of living continues to soar while wages have not kept pace. We can’t fight this new crisis together with soaring homelessness. There needs to be a complete focus on housing those who are fleeing war.

“It’s time to freeze rents until more supply comes on stream and ban no fault evictions. Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill provides for these protections for renters, as well as ensuring that when a property is sold, a tenant can remain in place.

“We know rent freezes are constitutionally possible, and we know we can change the law on evictions. What is missing is political will. History tells us that refugees will not be able to return home quickly. We need a proper, well thought through long term housing strategy and a ban on evictions must be a key tenet of this.”

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