Clarity needed on eviction ban and arbitrary 5km rule
30 March 2021
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Responding to the Government’s updated Covid response, Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan called for urgent clarity on the eviction ban currently in place to protect renters. Senator Moynihan said that once the 5km restriction is lifted, many renters who remain out of work will become at risk of eviction, highlighting the strangeness of tying the ban to an arbitrary distance limit.
Senator Moynihan said:
“The Government’s haphazard approach to managing the ongoing crisis in the rental sector was exposed again this evening. There must be immediate clarity from Government that the eviction ban will not automatically kick in from April 12th while we’re still at level 5.
“Any lifting of the eviction ban should not be linked to an arbitrary 5km rule but to the social good and to the public health measures. Many renters remain out of work and so the ability to pay rent remains unchanged until all sections of the economy reopen. Similarly with the majority of restriction remaining in place, it will be much harder for those served with eviction notices to find alternative accommodation.
"With the fall off in construction and restrictions still in place for physical viewings mean that it's not possible to have a functional rental market while the restrictions are still in place.
“As a nation, we continue to do the right thing and put in place appropriate safeguards to protect the vulnerable throughout society. No one should be at risk of losing the roof over the head, and certainly not during a global pandemic. This constant lack of clarity and poor communication to renters is damaging their mental health and playing with their lives. It is vital that the eviction ban remains in place to help renters and protect them from potential homelessness.”