Full eviction ban needs to be extended beyond Level 5 restrictions
24 November 2020
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called for the eviction ban to be extended beyond the current Level 5 restrictions.
Senator Moynihan was speaking after it was announced that a ban on evictions from those in rental arrears will be extended from January to April next year.
Senator Moynihan said:
“An extension of a ban on evictions only for those in rental arrears is insufficient and will not protect vulnerable renters as evictions on other grounds such as sale of property or moving a family member in will still be permitted. We also need clarity from Government as to whether this ban will just apply to people who have registered financial difficulties due to Covid.
“Labour believe that the full eviction ban should be extended indefinitely to give renters certainty beyond January. Most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market. Landlords need to do their bit in the fight against this virus and let people stay in their homes until this pandemic ends. While the recent news in relation to vaccinations is encouraging, it may be several months before the majority of the population are vaccinated.
“In July we tabled an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Bill which would give the Minister for Housing the powers to reinstate the ban on evictions for public health reasons if travel restrictions would have to be introduced. Given that the likelihood is that travel restrictions will only temporarily be eased, the Minister should retain the existing ban and ensure that people are not made homeless when they cannot travel.
“We don’t know what the trajectory of this virus will be with the likelihood that we may be facing further restrictions into next year. These restrictions disproportionately affect renters who badly need security.
“The Minister needs to ensure renters are adequately protected into next year. Given that travel restrictions will likely remain for some time next year, he should extend the full eviction ban indefinitely.