Eviction ban must be extended until Government grasp homelessness crisis
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Cabinet to fully consider the potential positive impact of extending the eviction ban.
With Ireland reaching the shameful figure of 1,609 families without a home in January, Deputy Bacik said government must take regard of the public good when considering the legal advice on the extension of the ban.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Despite record funding and record spin, the government’s housing policies are not protecting renters. The primary cause of homelessness is evictions from the private rental sector, yet Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are dragging their heels and failing to act comprehensively.
“The eviction ban is not a silver bullet and it is no replacement for actually building homes and setting ambitious targets for the delivery of social and affordable homes in particular. However, it has been a huge help for many renters in the precarious private rental sector. It has provided a brief window of certainty and security in a market in crisis and prevented many more people from entering homelessness.
“Renters are not just transient – they come from all sections of society. There has been an abject failure to protect renters through a strengthening of tenants’ rights – affordability and security of tenure must be key priorities for this government. Most renters are people who are at work, who would normally be able to afford their own home, but are trapped in a rental sector that is out of control.
“Year on year, an additional 2,604 people have entered homelessness. That is an abject failure of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil housing policy. To think that there are 1,609 families living in homelessness is utterly appalling.
“Unfortunately we know that many people who enter homelessness are coming directly from the private rental market. This is confirmed by those organisations in the charity sector who continue to pick up the pieces for this failure in Government policy.
“An extension to the eviction ban would give Government time to ramp up the delivery of newly built homes and plan appropriately for its lifting at the end of the year, something they failed to do during the winter months.”