WITH the no-fault eviction ban being lifted at the end of the month, the Limerick branch of the Community Action and Tenants Union (CATU) is calling on local people to get organised for “direct action to keep families in their homes”.
4,741 eviction notices were served to tenants between July and September and many of them are now facing eviction on March 31. This comes at a time when the number of homes available to rent in Limerick is nearly half of what it was in 2022 while rents have increased by 25 per cent year-on-year.
Describing the removal of the eviction ban as callous, Limerick CATU branch press officer Ruairí Fahy said local people would have an opportunity to oppose the move at a series of protest events across the city on March 31.
“The government initially put the eviction ban in place to make more housing available but they failed to do this. Official homelessness figures continue to break records each month, never mind the number of people trapped in hidden homelessness living in cars, couch surfing or forced into hotels,” Mr Fahy explained.
“In his monthly report for February, Limerick City and County Council chief executive Pat Daly stated that there are 71 families and 115 children accommodated across the emergency accommodation and family hubs administered by the Council.
“Threshold, an NGO that helps tenants prepare cases for the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), are currently working with over 300 households who are overholding, that is, legally staying in a property beyond the eviction date stated on a notice to quit as they feel they have nowhere else to go.
“Overholding is the best option when the alternative is homelessness. We encourage everybody who cares about their community, about ensuring children stay in their schools, about workers staying in their jobs, to join CATU and stand up against the greed of landlords trying to cash out on record house prices.
“At this stage the government has made it clear that they care more about keeping landlords happy than they do ensuring people have safe, secure and affordable homes so the only way to keep communities together is for people to unite and organise against evictions to force the government to change the eviction laws,” Mr Fahy added.