Eviction ban must be introduced this winter
With a huge increase in eviction notices to renters, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said Government must intervene to keep a roof over people’s heads this winter. Speaking in advance of the publication of Labour’s alternative budget, Senator Moynihan said with evictions up by 54%, homelessness up by 30% and rents up by 12.5% renters must have their questions answered by the Housing Minister in this year’s budget.
Senator Moynihan said:
“After years of wasted prosperity by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, reality is biting the many thousands of people who have received eviction notices through no fault of their own in recent months. Labour is calling for an emergency eviction ban to stem the colossal number of people and families entering homelessness this winter.
“Instead of pursing policies aimed at providing homes for families and working people, the present Government has instead stimulated and stoked a market for property, making large urban areas virtually unaffordable to rent in or to buy.
“The idea that market knows best when it comes to housing is simply delusional. Unfortunately, it is hard working people who now face a winter of deep uncertainty when it comes to their living situation.
“In my own constituency, I’ve seen the total lack of thinking when it comes to housing when a healthcare worker and her three children, one of whom with Down Syndrome, autism and juvenile arthritis, was made homeless due to her landlord selling up. How is this acceptable is a ‘wealthy’ country?
“The housing problems facing the most vulnerable people in our society are worse now than they have been at any time in my years as a public representative. The Government has a duty to ensure that every person, every family, has access to housing at an affordable price with security of tenure and quality adequate to their needs. Right now, housing policy is an abject failure.
“To address these failures, we need greater ambition from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on resolving the supply crisis. Labour proposes building 20,000 social and affordable public homes, coupled with a three year rent freeze and eviction ban while supply comes on stream. It must be a key priority to keep people in their homes and provide the dignity that every person needs to live.
“There are over 10,000 people living in homelessness. I fail to understand why government are refusing to put a stop to eviction notices and rent hikes in the private sector. I am calling on Minister O’Brien to take these measures now to stop the horror of homelessness that so many families and individuals dread.”