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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 9 April, 2020

Landlords should show 'forbearance' during Covid-19 outbreak, says housing minister

Eoghan Murphy also said that he would provide support to homeless services during the crisis.

Eoghan Murphy said he was trying to identify ways to protect renters during the Covid-19 crisis.
Eoghan Murphy said he was trying to identify ways to protect renters during the Covid-19 crisis.
Image: Sam Boal/

HOUSING MINISTER EOGHAN Murphy has asked landlords to show “forbearance” in dealing with any tenants struggling to pay rent as a result of Covid-19. 

In a statement this evening, a spokesperson for the Department of Housing said that Murphy was working with other departments as well as industry figures and regulators to see what action “can be taken to protect tenants who may be impacted either through a requirement for self-isolation, a confirmed medical diagnosis or a reduction in working hours”.

With schools, colleges and various public buildings shuttered until at least 29 March, there have been concerns that businesses could suffer and some sectors could take a major economic hit in the coming weeks. 

The spokesperson said that the minister was asking that “landlords demonstrate forbearance”.

This evening, 20 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Ireland. There are now 90 confirmed cases in Ireland. Yesterday, the figures had risen to 70 confirmed cases. There are also 29 confirmed cases in Northern Ireland. 


Concerns have been raised in recent days about how Covid-19 could impact homeless people in Ireland. 

“We were in crisis before this came along,” Mike Allen from Focus Ireland told earlier this week. Homeless services and charities have been taking various steps to try to ensure the safety of homeless people and to prevent any spread of the virus through hostels and family hubs. 

This evening, Murphy said that he would ensure that “all necessary supports and measures” would be provided to ensure local authorities and housing organisations can work through the crisis.

Murphy said that today that he spoke to all four Dublin local authorities and was “confident that the local authorities and NGOs are taking the necessary steps to deal with this challenge”.

“But we must be vigilant and keep the situation under constant review,” he said.

Murphy said that his department would be in daily contact with frontline services, which he said had been provided with more staff. 

One of the major challenges for homeless people who may have coronavirus is self-isolation. 

An already vulnerable population, many of whom suffer from health problems, they share rooms in emergency accommodation or cramped hotel rooms for families, making it difficult to realistically self-isolate for anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19. 

Earlier this week, reported that homeless organisations were trying to set aside housing units for any homeless people to self-isolate in if they are confirmed to have Covid-19. 

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