Tenant in situ scheme must be scaled up in advance of eviction ban lifting
abour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has called on the Housing Minister to outline government’s strategy for the lifting of the eviction ban at the end of March.
Scaling up of the tenant in situ scheme at a local authority level must be a key element of any plan to protect people at risk of entering homelessness.
As details published by Threshold today show charities continue to pick up the slack where the State is failing, Senator Moynihan said the most vulnerable in our housing system must be assured that there will be a roof over their head.
Senator Moynihan said:
“As the Oireachtas returns tomorrow, I am demanding that Government outlines its plan to protect people against homelessness when the eviction ban is lifted in March. The Minister must commit to scaling up the tenant in situ powers to ensure that where a landlord is leaving the market, the tenant can remain in their home. This is a huge issue that many renters have been faced with over the past 12 months and it will rear its head once again when the eviction ban is lifted.
“We need to start treating this like the national emergency that it is. It is absolutely deplorable that homelessness figures published at the start of January broke all records despite the eviction ban in place from the end of October.
“Upon its implementation in October, Labour called for the Minister to publish monthly figures for the duration of the eviction ban from local authorities on how many tenants in situ schemes have been completed, how many are currently being processed and outline reasons why they do not go ahead. He has failed to do so.
“There is a total dearth of homes in the system for those who need it, and I am particularly concerned at how the lifting of the eviction ban will impact those on the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), as the Threshold report showcases the greater challenge these people face when looking for a place to live.
“The HAP scheme has effectively collapsed on this government’s watch. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have continued to see the private sector as a solution for the housing crisis.
“The scheme is totally out of kilter with the reality of the housing market. Right now, there are a number of counties without homes available for people availing of HAP which must be addressed before the lifting of the eviction ban.
“During the pandemic, government extended emergency measures to keep people in their homes. Until the State focuses on the building of social homes, we will be chasing our tail on short-term sticking plasters rather than long term sustainable housing policy. The Census shows that our population is rising above 5 million people. We have the information and it’s time that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil admit that the strategy of private interests taking the lead is failing fast.”