Time for Winter Truce Eviction Ban

Senator Mark Wall
13 July 2023
  • Reckless approach to winter homelessness displayed by Minister O’Brien
  • Zero plans to tackle systemic housing issues

Labour Senator Mark Wall has characterised the Government’s approach to housing as reckless.

Speaking on the last sitting day of the Oireachtas, Senator Wall urged Government to use the summer months to put a plan in place for the forthcoming winter.

Senator Wall said:

“The lifting of the eviction ban in April sent a definitive message to renters nationwide – Government are more concerned with keeping private interests on side than protecting those who are squeezed by the housing market.

“Labour urged Government to keep the eviction ban in place until there was clear evidence that homelessness was decreasing. Instead, we continue to see a steady increase in people entering homelessness.

“This Winter, Government cannot leave people literally out in the cold. Labour are calling for the introduction of an annual ‘Winter Truce’ eviction ban, as has been in place in France since 1956.

“Families need security and certainty, and during the winter months, they need a reprieve. Introducing an annual winter eviction ban would be a step in the right direction, and a mark a positive change in approach from Minister O’Brien.

“Labour has followed the progress of Housing for All closely. Like everyone affected by the housing crisis, we want it to succeed. However the evidence is it is failing fast. Housing demand far exceeds the targets set by Government, and no recent analysis of the targets has been conducted in light of the updated Census data.

“Government must use the weeks ahead to set out an Emergency Housing for All strategy for the winter, which must include an eviction ban, but also focus on delivering social and affordable homes to speed up supply coming on stream.

“There are enormous systemic issues in housing – particularly in terms of the labour force available in the market. Government must ensure apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage, and also seek to roll out construction skills courses to encourage more people to consider a career in construction.

“Housing policy is failing in this country. Labour urges Government to change its approach and give renters certainty that a winter eviction ban will be in place.”

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