APPROXIMATELY 11,500 people were kept in their homes last year because of interventions by the housing support agency Threshold.
According to Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty: “In the year 2018 alone we carried out 67,710 actions on behalf of tenants to fight for their homes.
“Whether it was making a call, providing legal representation or helping someone to navigate the complex laws underpinning tenants’ rights.
“Because of this work, we stopped 5,161 households from becoming homeless. That’s 4,451 children and 7,111 adults who would have lost their homes without Threshold’s support.”
Threshold’s annual report also showed that most of their clients are not renting by choice — 71% say they rent because they cannot afford to buy.
Of the notices of termination dealt with, Threshold found that over half of them were invalid. Three quarters of notices of termination issued to tenants in 2018 did not arise from any assertion that a tenant had perpetrated any wrongdoing.
The single biggest reason given for notices of termination was that the property was to be sold, and the incidence of this was higher than in 2017.
“We are particularly concerned about the number of ‘no-fault’ notices to quit, with 74% of them involving no wrongdoing on the tenant’s part,” said Mr McCafferty. “The lack of affordable rented housing makes tenancies who receive a notice of termination very vulnerable to homelessness.” Threshold represented 254 clients at the Residential Tenancies Board in 2018, almost three times the number in 2017.
There was also an increase in the number of tenants seeking support in relation to mass eviction cases.