News & Media

Ban on evictions and rent rises must be extended beyond August

19 July 2020

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage

With hundreds of thousands of workers unlikely to be back in work by the end of August it would be absolutely disgraceful not to extend the ban on evictions and rent increases until at least the end of year said Labour Housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan, as it will directly contribute to an increase in homelessness.

Senator Moynihan said:

"The Sunday Independent reports today that the ban on evictions and rent increases will only be extended for a few weeks possibly until the end of August but we know hundreds of thousands of people won't be back in work at this time, there is concern about schools returning, and the risk of second wave of the pandemic remains. Extending it by only a few weeks would be reckless, and lead to an increase in homelessness.

"It would be disgraceful to take such a short sighted measure when the Minister for Housing himself has called previously for it to be extended until at least October!

"What is most striking is that the Sunday Times also reports today that the wage subsidy scheme, and pandemic unemployment payments will likely continue until the spring, showing the government recognises the ongoing impact on jobs, but don't seem prepared to protect the homes of those workers.

"Over the last week we've seen the Minister for Housing slowly back away from commitments he has previously made on renter protections. While I would welcome moves to tighten the rules on notice periods and protections for renters, these should have happened years ago. We know the current rules have protected the common good, by reducing homelessness, and we can't have a government hiding behind legal arguments."