Renters need affordability, certainty and security
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik said the Government must do more to protect the many vulnerable renters in the private market.
With affordability non-existent in the rental market due to years of failed Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil policies, Deputy Bacik said renters now face a precarious situation with the expected lifting of the eviction ban.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Let there be no doubt – an eviction ban will only work if government get serious about meeting and exceeding its building targets. The rental crisis stems from years of overreliance on the private sector which has abjectly failed. Labour has always called for the State building of more social and affordable homes. There needs to be a rapid expansion of the Housing for All targets and a laser focus from this government on putting roofs over heads and choice in the market.
“It is disappointing to see Government fail to give vulnerable renters certainty for the months ahead. The extension of the eviction ban was never a silver bullet, but could steady the market for people.
“I wholeheartedly agree with Threshold when they highlight the uncertainty in the market at the moment. The Government should have sent a clear signal to renters and landlords alike that, due to the housing emergency, an eviction ban would be necessary throughout the year of 2023 while more stock comes on stream.
“All the evidence shows that short-term and targeted measures like the eviction ban can have a meaningful impact when its coupled with a strategy to increase the actual supply of houses. That’s what’s ultimately needed.
“Building enough houses to deal with the pressure of demand will take time; which is why Labour has called for the extension of the temporary eviction ban and greater rights for renters to offer them protection and certainty and, in the long run, affordability.
“Today, we are anticipating the release of the latest homelessness figures. Many renters will fear for their own fate in the coming months if the eviction ban is lifted and rents continue to increase. Government can’t continue to sit on its hands and hope that the market solves this. Renters need action now.”