A CORK TD has said he expects a “big increase in evictions” from August.
That’s despite those whose incomes have been hit by Covid-19, and who are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, being protected from eviction due to rent arrears until next January.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry said the new Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill 2020 ends the blanket ban on evictions and rent increases, while it will also allow the issuing of Notices to Quit from August for reasons other than rent arrears.
“The Bill only protects tenants on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme from eviction if the landlord tries to evict on grounds of rent arrears,” Deputy Barry said.
“If the landlord tries to evict on grounds of sale of property, refurbishment, moving a relative in etc then there is no protection even for those on the PUP and the TWSS.
“This Bill is bad news for tenants and I expect to see a big increase in evictions now coming into the autumn,” Deputy Barry added.
The ban on evictions and rent increases came into force in March this year and speaking in the Dáil on the issue the Cork North Central TD highlighted that at the end of that month there were 9,907 people in emergency accommodation in Ireland.
However, he said it had declined to 9,335 by the end of April and again in May to 8,867 people.
The number of children in emergency accommodation declined from 3,300 at the end of March to 2,787 at the end of May.
He added that the number of people in emergency accommodation at the end of May was the lowest it has been in Ireland in three years.
“I would go so far as to suggest that that was actually the most successful Government housing policy seen in recent years,” Deputy Barry said.
However, the Solidarity TD said that the new Bill represents a backward step and will inevitably result in an increase in homelessness.
“No matter what way the Government dresses this one up, what they are planning to do this week is to end the blanket ban on evictions which has reduced the numbers forced to live in emergency accommodation.
“Protections will remain for another five months for tenants whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic but the ending of the blanket eviction ban is sure to have a negative impact on the homelessness issue in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.