News & Media

Drop in homelessness shows eviction ban is working

31 July 2020

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

The drop in the numbers presenting homeless shows the eviction ban and rent freeze introduced by the Government in March have worked according to Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan.

Moynihan was speaking after the release of the Homeless Quarterly Progress Report and June monthly homeless figures which showed an increase in exits from homelessness and a reduction in the numbers accessing emergency accommodation. However, she cautioned that while the drop in the number of people homeless is welcome, the Residential Tenancies Act that passed through the Oireachtas this week will increase homelessness and reverse any progress made.

Senator Moynihan said:

“I welcome the drop in the number of people presenting as homeless and the increase in the number of people exiting emergency accommodation. However, 63% of those exiting homelessness went into private rented tenancies and the Minister has effectively given their landlords exceptions to the eviction ban under the Residential Tenancies Act.

“The Government’s rental bill that passed through the Oireachtas this week will lead to an increase in homelessness in the autumn. The new bill leaves too many exceptions in the terms for evictions with no fault evictions, substantial renovation evictions and evictions for the benefit of family members all back. These are all the main excuses for evicting tenants which is the driving force of homelessness in Ireland.

“Labour put forward a number of amendments to the bill which would have renewed the rent freeze and evictions moratorium on a blanket basis and would have given the Government the power to extend the ban on evictions and rent hikes in the future if needed. These are all necessary measures to prevent another rise in homelessness in the Autumn.

Moynihan continued:

“The Department’s own figures show why the blanket ban on evictions and rent freeze needed to be extended. However, the decision of Fianna Fáil, and the Greens to follow Fine Gael down the garden path means homelessness will inevitably rise again in the coming months.