Lifting of eviction ban pulls the rug out from under vulnerable households

Ivana Bacik TD
07 March 2023

• Government must extend eviction moratorium
• Tenant in situ scheme must be ramped up
• Public homes must come on stream
• Homeless Families Bill must be passed

In the Dáil today, Labour Leader Ivana Bacik TD challenged the Government for its decision not to retain the eviction moratorium.

Deputy Bacik said:

“News that the eviction ban will not be extended has upended the worlds of thousands of renting families. In my constituency of Dublin Bay South, nearly half of homes are rented in the private rented sector. The correspondence I have received overnight from those who now do not know where they are going to live after 31st March is heart-breaking. My understanding – and indeed the understanding of so many households and public representatives – was that the moratorium might be extended, or that a coherent plan would be put in place to avoid a cliff-edge on 31st March. It has become clear today that this is not the case. The Taoiseach’s tone in the Dáil today was unhelpful, and minimised the real anxiety of renters who have received a notice to quit.

“From the outset, we in Labour have urged the Government to use the eviction ban to secure additional housing supply, so that people would not be left scrambling for somewhere to live. Instead, the Department of Housing has wasted the last four months. Rather than building more housing, and bringing existing stock into public ownership, it sat on its hands. In the Dáil today, I raised the tenant in situ scheme. It allows for local authorities to step in and buy the homes of renters who are in receipt of state housing supports, and whose landlord wishes to sell up. I have heard from renters and landlords alike, who are prime candidates for this scheme, and who are eager to apply. Yet, figures supplied to Labour Councillor Jane Horgan Jones show that Dublin City Council has acquired just seven homes under the scheme in 2023. The Government won’t build homes, and it appears to be incapable of acquiring ones which already exist. It is incredible.

“Politics is about choices. For the Government to reject a compassionate, and the most sensible, approach and extend the eviction ban on a temporary basis until more housing stock comes on stream is utterly and deeply disappointing. It is not too late to change tack. The disquiet from Green Party TDs indicates that this matter has not yet been settled. I urge the Government to take on the calls of renters, housing charities and others. Homelessness figures exceed 11,600. Emergency accommodation facilities are at capacity. As we approach the State Examinations period, we now face the possibility of the appalling vista that is children sleeping on the floor of garda stations. In addition to extending the moratorium, the Government should act now to pass Labours Homeless Families Bill to safeguard the rights of children in homeless services.”

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