Deputy Pearse Doherty has said Donegal TDs must support calls to take emergency action to stem the tide of rising homelessness.
He was speaking after Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin announced that his bill to implement an immediate and temporary ban on no-fault evictions would be advanced in the Dáil tomorrow.
“The homelessness crisis has never been worse. This Christmas, more than 4000 children will wake up on Christmas morning in a hub, hostel or B&B – 29 of these children are in the North West region,” Deputy Doherty said.
There are now more families and children living in emergency accommodation since records began, he added, saying this is ‘completely unacceptable’.
“These harrowing scenarios are replicated right across Donegal, and the reason for this is because the government is not delivering enough social and affordable housing. A recent report from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) told us what we all knew – that there has been a shocking increase in rents across Donegal under the watch of this Government. Incredibly in Donegal, new renters are paying almost 30% more each month than existing tenants.
He said the average rent in Donegal for new renters is also now €886, with some landlords asking for as much as €1,500.
“This is beyond the means of many families living in Donegal.”
Next week, Deputy Doherty said, Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin will bring forward his bill to change the law so that ordinary workers, families and children cannot be evicted at the whim of a landlord when they have done nothing wrong.
“This is the norm in other countries and is needed to stop a further rise in homelessness this Christmas,” he continued.
“Our bill to reintroduce the government’s ban on no-fault evictions would, if passed, take immediate effect and last until the end of March.
“This is a necessary protection for households who rent their homes and who pay their rent on time and cause no bother to their landlords.
“It would also give the government the breathing space required to increase and accelerate the building of social and affordable homes for those who are currently homeless.”