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Charity urges extension of tenant eviction ban during pandemic

Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said renters have been disproportionally affected by Covid-19.

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Housing minister Eoghan Murphy (PA)

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy (PA)

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy (PA)

A housing charity has called on the Government to extend the three-month ban on evicting tenants.

In March, housing minister Eoghan Murphy announced a temporary ban on evictions and a pause on rent increases for an initial period of three months while the Covid-19 crisis continued.

Threshold welcomed the latest figures that show a fall in homelessness in March, but it warned that trend could quickly reverse if the Government’s moratorium on evictions and rent increases is not extended.

Some 9,907 people were homeless at the end of March, a drop of 241 from February.

Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said: “We are hopeful the moratorium on evictions is preventing the regular flow of people from the private rented sector into homelessness.

“Renters have been disproportionally affected by Covid-19. There are many renters who have lost their jobs and suffered major cuts in income as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and they are facing into a reality of substantial rent arrears.

“Some landlords are showing flexibility and forbearance, but others are not. Unless the ban on evictions is extended beyond the current deadline of June, the recent modest gains in terms of the homelessness reduction will be reversed very quickly.

“If the moratorium on evictions results in an ongoing fall in homelessness during the pandemic, then serious consideration must be given to changing the terms on which a tenant can lose their home.

“Three-quarters of eviction notices we deal with at Threshold are no-fault evictions. Tenants in Ireland can still have their home taken away for no reason. This must change.”

PA