Labour supports Raise the Roof protest – demands extension to eviction ban
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Government to extend the eviction ban due to expire on 31st March.
Speaking in advance of the Raise the Roof rally at Leinster House today (March 30th) Deputy Bacik said the Labour Party would be happy to facilitate the Dáil sitting throughout Easer in order to pass emergency legislation.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Government is set to pull the rug from under vulnerable renters this week. It is disgraceful and it is a policy that is doomed to fail, as the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have already conceded. Even at the 11th hour, it is not too late to change their minds and extend the ban.
“The Labour Party would gladly facilitate the Dáil sitting over the coming weeks to pass the emergency legislation that we proposed two weeks ago to prevent the mass evictions that are anticipated.
“Families facing a cliff edge from 1 April have no safety net in place. Hastily announced measures from Government in recent weeks will do nothing for those who will lose their home at the end of this week. There is no emergency accommodation available.
“All the indications that were given by the Taoiseach over recent months had led renters, landlords and the public an impression that the Government was taking legal advice and seriously considering the extension of the eviction ban. We put down a parliamentary question about why the eviction ban was initially planned to end on 31 March. I was told by the Department that “regard was had to the meteorological winter period”. When more than 11,750 people are in state homelessness services, basing a decision of this gravity on the weather beggars belief.
“Labour drafted a Bill that would provide for a facility to extend the eviction ban until there is an evidence base for its lifting. That is, until there is a drop in homelessness figures for four consecutive months. This proposal chimes with the calls of homeless charities, such as the Simon Community. It is certainly more logical than a weather forecast, made 6 months in advance.
“Although he has not written back to me, I understand the Taoiseach is not accepting our Bill. Perhaps this is a tacit admission that he does not have confidence in his Government’s ability to reduce homelessness.
“Ideology, not the economy, will force thousands of people into homelessness over the coming months. The lifting of the eviction ban will have devastating consequences for households across the country. It’s still not too late to do the right thing and extend the ban.”