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Laois TD calls for eviction ban to be extended in the county until December


Local Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley told the Minister for Housing in the Dáil this week that the eviction ban must be extended until December 2023.

Speaking during the debate, Deputy Stanley said that the eviction ban ends next month and he has grave concerns about this.

The eviction ban means that if you are renting private rented accommodation, you cannot be evicted during these months, even if you have been issued with a valid notice of termination.

But that is due to lapse at the end of the month and this Laois TD is concerned.

He said: “I am extremely concerned about the number of families and individual renters who are facing the prospect of homelessness through eviction if the ban is not extended.

“Renters have come into my office in the past week. They are at their wits’ end and absolutely terrified. I cannot express this clearly enough.

“They are terrified of what is ahead of them. They need security of tenure.

“When the current ban was introduced in November 2022, we warned the Government that it needed to use the breathing space provided to introduce a series of emergency measures, including increasing and accelerating the delivery of social housing.

“The Minister stated at that time that the intention of the ban was ‘to afford time for housing supply to increase and to reduce the burden on homeless services’. We agreed with him.

“Unfortunately, the supply has still not been delivered and many renters now face the prospect of homelessness from the end of next month.

“Sinn Féin is, therefore, tabling this proposal to call on the Government to extend the emergency ban, and we accept it is an emergency measure, until the end of the year.”

Deputy Stanley then spoke about the scale of the problem that currently exists across the midlands.

He said: “I will highlight the severity of the issue across the midlands at the moment.

“A total of 153 adults and 67 children are in emergency accommodation provided by local authorities.

“In County Laois, for example, such people can be sent 50, 60 or 70 miles from home.

“If the ban is not extended, we expect to see that figure increase substantially.

“Those figures do not include those who are sleeping on couches, couples who have been forced to move back home with their parents and young families in unsuitable and overcrowded situations.

“The latest Daft.ie figures from last week show the average tenancy rate in Laois has increased to €1,292 per month. Most of those are one- and two-bedroom accommodations.

“That is an increase of 12.8% on last year. In Offaly, it is up to €1,302, which is a rise of 15.6%. People simply cannot afford to pay those rack rents.

“It is crystal clear to Sinn Féin that we are in a housing emergency and the Government has lost control.

“We are putting forward a package of solutions to relieve the pressure, increase supply and protect renters. We need to see delivery of 20,000 affordable and social houses each year for the next five years. That is the minimum required.

“We need to use the emergency planning powers and emergency procurement to fast-track delivery.

“On the matter of tenants in situ, at the last meeting of Laois County Council, the councillors, including the head of the housing strategic policy committee, asked for this circular to be brought to the chamber.

“It is clear from that circular that there are a lot of conditions on what the council can buy. I ask the Minister to examine that again. It is important that we continue this eviction ban and freeze rents.”

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