CATU Letter to Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing on the lifting of the eviction ban

CATU Letter to Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing on the lifting of the eviction ban

March 31st, 2023

Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing

We are the Community Action Tenants Union Ireland (CATU), a community and tenants union representing 2000 tenants and other working class people across Ireland. We demand that you take immediate action to reinstate the eviction ban alongside the other measures to address the housing crisis that we outline below.

Many of our members are private rented sector tenants who have been put at significant and immediate risk of homelessness as a result of your decision, alongside tens if not hundreds of thousands of other people around Ireland. The decision to lift the eviction ban illustrates your total disregard for their safety and welfare.

RTB figures show that 4751 eviction notes were issued in the third quarter of last year alongside a further 1,500 which were issued since the ban was introduced. The RTB has further stated that many of these eviction notices will come into force on April 1st, causing an immediate wave of evictions with the potential to destroy the lives and wellbeing of those affected.

At the same time, according to Focus Ireland, the number of people entering homelessness is already at record levels, reaching 11,754 in January. There is an acute shortage of emergency accommodation, with numerous reports of families being turned away by homeless services. This means that anyone evicted from their home after the ban is lifted will not have access to any form of state support and will be abandoned to fend for themselves.

You have already accepted in the Dáil that your decision to lift the eviction ban has the potential to cause increased homelessness. This level of callousness is totally unacceptable.

The eviction ban must be reinstated to avoid these consequences. However this alone is not sufficient to address the broken housing system. We have a range of further demands including the extension of the eviction ban to cover licencees, access to public housing for anyone who wants it, private sector rent reductions, improved standards in emergency accommodation and the abolition of Direct Provision.

We request an immediate response detailing how you will address our demands or else we will be forced to take further action to ensure our demands and the needs of our members and communities will be met. 

Yours sincerely,

Community Action Tenants Union Ireland