THERE were 211 evictions in Limerick over a three month period last year before the introduction of the ban on evictions.
Quoting figures sourced by his party’s Housing Spokesperson Eoin O’Broin, Limerick Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan said the hundreds of evictions between July and September showed what can be expected when the ban on evictions is lifted at the end of March.
“Evictions will recommence in their hundreds across Limerick and tenants will have nowhere to go. They will end up being told to go to Garda stations for refuge,” Senator Gavan declared.
“Emergency services for homelessness are at breaking point and families being made homeless are being asked to try and source hotel accommodation directly on a week-to-week basis.
He pointed to the lack of action by government during the eviction ban to expand emergency accommodation and tackle the housing crisis.
“Government efforts to encourage local authorities to purchase homes where families are facing eviction have not worked and they have also missed their own targets to deliver social and affordable homes, despite the fact that those targets are far too low.
“At least 40,000 homes are needed each year and Sinn Fein would fund an additional 7,400 homes on top of 12,600 in the government housing plan.
“We would redirect the Croí Conaithe (Towns) scheme into a larger fund for councils to buy and refurbish up to 4,000 vacant and derelict homes for social and affordable housing. We would scrap the Croí Conaithe (Cities) scheme so that local councils and Housing Bodies can deliver affordable homes rather than bail outs for developers who deliver totally unaffordable homes.
“We would tackle the problem of high rents by putting a month’s rent back into people’s pockets and ban rent increases for three years. We would introduce a time limited mortgage interest relief for home owners hit by interest rate increases.
“There are solutions to the housing crisis, but what is lacking is the political will in government to intervene at sufficient scale to get this done,” Senator Gavan added.