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Opposition parties call for reinstatement of eviction bans as number of homeless people rises in April

Labour’s Housing spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called for Minister Darragh O’Brien to reinstate the eviction ban.

Tents outside the William Conyngham Plunket statue
Tents outside the William Conyngham Plunket statue
Image: RollingNews

OPPOSITION PARTIES HAVE called for Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to intervene, as the numbers homeless in Ireland rose in April.

The number of homeless families rose to 925 from 913 in April, while there are now 8,082 homeless people accessing emergency accommodation. This rose from 8,060 in March.

Labour’s Housing spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called for Minister O’Brien to reinstate the eviction ban and to extend it until the end of the year.

“The figures published today show a clear need to reinstate and extend the eviction ban to protect the most vulnerable families in society,” said Moynihan.

“Despite record funding, the government’s policies aren’t working because the primary cause of homelessness is evictions and the Minister won’t act comprehensively.

Moynihan says that she is concerned for those in the rental market, especially following news of a loophole that would allow landlords in rent pressure zones to increase rents by 8%.

“We already have a real issue with affordability in the rental sector. An 8% increase in rents will push many renters into desperate situations.”

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin, has said that Minister O’Brien had previously been warned about what kind of impact lifting the eviction ban would have

“The Minister for Housing cannot say he wasn’t warned about the impact of the lifting of the eviction ban and the ban on the issuing of notices to quit.

“We had gotten to the stage of seeing a steady decline in numbers thanks to the emergency measures put in place and it would be hugely concerning to see the numbers begin to rise again.”

Ó Broin has said Minister O’Brien must urgently intervene and keep families who are at risk of homelessness in their homes.

Brian McLoughlin of Inner City Helping Homeless said that there will be a “tsunami of homelessness” throughout the rest of the year due to high rents and the removal of the eviction ban.

“Last year due to Covid-19 we saw changes in policy that brought homeless figures down right throughout the year,” said McLoughlin.

“The decision to remove the eviction ban and allow rent increases at that level while Covid-19 is still a factor is a crazy decision and will undo the good work last year.”

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Figures breakdown

In April, there were a total of 699 families in homelessness in Dublin, 351 of which were single-parent families.

A total of 1,719 children were homeless in the capital in April, with 1,047 adults alongside them accessing emergency accommodation.

Homeless figures in Dublin are the highest in the country, with 4,087 adults (69%) homeless in total. Of these, 2,682 were male and 1,405 were female.

The second highest region was in the South-West, with 483 (8%) adults accessing emergency accommodation. This region includes both Cork and Kerry, with Cork having the bulk of homeless adults at 395.

People aged 25-44 make up the biggest proportion of homeless people in Dublin at 2,374, while the second highest is people aged between 45-64 at 1,168.

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