Renters let down even during eviction ban
- Increase in number of eviction notices should sound alarm bells for government
- Eviction ban must be extended and meaningful steps taken to bridge housing gap
- Now not the time for Minister O’Brien to head to Georgia
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has said today that it is appalling to learn that the government took so little action on housing during the duration of the eviction ban, particularly as figures released by Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) today show a significant increase in the number of landlords issuing notices to quit.
Demanding an extension of the eviction ban, Bacik said that even while the eviction ban was in place, renters were being failed by this government.
Deputy Bacik said:
“By lifting the eviction ban, the government is effectively saying to renters: shut up and put up. There is no contingency plan in place for the thousands of renters at risk of eviction at the end of the month. Figures released by the RTB this afternoon show that the number of eviction notices served between July and September last year was up nearly threefold, when compared with the same period last year. The government cannot continue to bury its head in the sand – renters in Ireland are facing a cliff-edge when the ban lifts in three weeks’ time.
“It is appalling to see the utter lack of urgency to act to protect renters. As reported today, just 13 homes out of the more than 400 offered to Dublin local authorities by landlords leaving the market, were purchased under the tenant-in-situ scheme. None were purchased in Fingal.
“Figures provided to the Labour Party this week showed that only seven properties had been purchased by Dublin City Council under the scheme in 2023 so far. It’s beyond belief.
“In its belated and vague attempts to assuage the fears of vulnerable renters, the government is telling us that the tenant-in-situ scheme will work to protect people. It’s very difficult to have any faith in this, given the failures and delays by local authorities thus far in operating the scheme.
“Indeed, the reality is, even if government does scale up the tenant in situ scheme, this will not protect anyone at risk of eviction once the ban lifts at the end of the month. In less than three weeks, we are going to face a true social crisis. Housing is the cornerstone of a person’s life; it provides the security to live a fulfilled life. Renters have been utterly failed by this government.
“Last August, marking one year on from the publication of Housing for All, Labour called for the scaling up of the tenant-in-situ scheme. After years of private market failure, we needed to see the government provide a new model to tackle the housing crisis.
“In the middle of all this chaos and uncertainty for renters, the Housing Minister is jetting off to Georgia, rather than putting in place supports for renters and putting pressure on local authorities to scale up the tenant-in-situ scheme. An eviction ban is not a silver bullet but an extension to the existing ban could have provided government with breathing space to build more social and affordable homes. Instead, it has sat on its hands.”