The eviction ban has now been lifted, an increase in homelessness expected

The eviction ban has now been lifted, an increase in homelessness expected

Despite claims about a potential surge in homelessness, the eviction ban has ended with Government measures put into place to protect those most vulnerable to this outcome.

The eviction ban was initially imposed as an emergency precaution during the Covid-19 pandemic and was extended for six months in October of last year to protect renters from potentially becoming homeless during the colder months.

Opposition parties had anticipated a prolongation of the March deadline to tackle the escalating housing prices and rental fees.

Last month, Cabinet voted to terminate the ban on 1 April, instead of prolonging it.

After the ban, Sinn Féin presented a legislative resolution in Parliament and proposed its extension till January, while Labour submitted a vote of no confidence for the Government in Dáil.

The Government narrowly won three consecutive parliamentary votes, with just 83, 81, and 86 votes respectively. However, Neasa Hourigan from the Green Party voted against the initial Sinn Féin motion.

Homelessness organizations have strongly opposed the termination of the ban and veteran homeless advocate Fr Peter McVerry has compared it to a horror movie for tenants.

The government has made it clear that the ban cannot be in place forever and has put extra measures in place to help renters, such as giving them first-refusal rights when it comes to buying their homes.

Yesterday's figures from the Department of Housing revealed that 11,742 were homeless in Ireland in February. With the end of the eviction ban, this number is likely to increase.

The number of homeless people in Dublin has increased from 1,599 families & 3,373 children to 6,000 over the past year. This is a 24% jump despite the 12-person drop since January.