Limerick councillor calls for extension of eviction ban

Limerick Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan.

A LIMERICK city councillor has called on the Government to immediately scale up the tenant in situ scheme and extend the eviction ban.

Labour Party representative Conor Sheehan said that the eviction ban is due to be lifted at the end of February and the Housing Minister has still not outlined what they are going to do if and when the ban is lifted.

“Government must urgently scale up the tenant in situ scheme at a local authority level to allow Councils to buy the home when the tenant is facing eviction to protect people at risk of entering homelessness,” he added.

“The Minister must commit to scaling up the tenant in situ powers to ensure that where a landlord is leaving the market, the tenant can remain in their home. This is a huge issue that many renters have been faced with over the past 12 months and it will rear its head once again when the eviction ban is lifted.

“We need to start treating this like the national emergency that it is. It is absolutely deplorable that homelessness figures published at the start of January broke all records despite the eviction ban in place from the end of October.”

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The Labour Party called on the Minister to publish monthly figures for the duration of the eviction ban from local authorities on how many tenants in situ schemes have been completed, how many are currently being processed and outline reasons why they do not go ahead.

“He has failed to do so,” Sheehan claimed.

“The HAP scheme has collapsed on this government’s watch. There are no homes available to rent in Limerick city within the discretionary HAP limits. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have continued to see the private sector as a solution for the housing crisis.

“Emergency accommodation is already under huge strain in Limerick and that situation will only worsen if the ban is lifted. Homelessness has already increased 30 per cent in the last year and this Christmas we had 352 people in Limerick in emergency accommodation.”