Eighty-eight households in Donegal may face being evicted as the government lifts the temporary ban on evictions.
TDs will vote on the issue in the Dáil this evening.
Sinn Féin is calling for the ban to be extended until 2024. The Opposition party has tabled a non-binding motion for today, which the Government has responded to with a counter-motion.
The government has a “safety net” in place for renters for when the eviction moratorium begins being phased out on 1 April. For those not in receipt of support, but at risk of homelessness, their local housing body or council can purchase their home and rent it to them on a “cost rental” or not-for-profit basis. Other measures include a plan to increase the number of social housing acquisitions target to at least 1,500 in 2023.
From July to September last year, 88 eviction notices in Donegal were served by landlords on their tenants.
Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Pádraig MacLochlainn say the eviction notices would have, in many cases, fallen due from February during the ban period. A huge number of these notices will now fall due in April.
Deputies Doherty and Mac Lochlainn have called on fellow Donegal TDs Charlie McConalogue and Joe McHugh to explain if they will be voting in favour of making constituents homeless.
Teachta Doherty said: “In ten days’ time, 88 eviction notices will fall due in county Donegal.
“These individuals and working families now face being made homeless in April, as a direct result of the government’s decision to end the eviction ban.
“Where are they supposed to live? The government has yet to answer that because they are completely removed from the lived realities of working families.
“We are dealing with a dramatic increase in constituents coming to us in desperation and seeking assistance to find emergency accommodation.
“My own offices have been contacted by individuals and families who have been plunged into uncertainty and insecurity as a result of the Government’s decision.
Deputy MacLochlainn added: “This is an incredibly traumatic time for so many working people who never envisaged finding themselves in such a situation, a situation that no other generation in the history of this state were in.
“That is the legacy of Fine Gael in government, now propped up by Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.
“Since 2011, Fine Gael has refused to provide the necessary levels of social and affordable housing. They outsourced their responsibilities and that has led us to the catastrophe we find ourselves in today.
“Minister McConalogue and Deputy McHugh must clarify if they plan to support the first Irish government making a conscious decision to increase the number of families made homeless.
“They must see sense and extend the ban on evictions, and put in place an ambitious series of emergency measures in the months ahead to reduce the number of people becoming homeless and to increase and accelerate the supply of social and affordable homes.”
The Department of Housing said that every effort will continue to be made to prevent people becoming homeless.
“The most effective way to assist renters is to increase supply and accelerate delivery of housing for purchase and for private rental, cost rental and social rental,” the department said.