Thursday, 30 July 2020
Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
Thomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein)
I support the amendment as well. The protections we have put in place during the Covid-19 crisis have led to a reduction in the homeless figures. In Cork and the south-west, we have seen those figures reduce from 111 people in January to 84 people last month. That shows that the protections we put in place worked. Why would we row back on them now? That is why this amendment is so important.
We need to give protection to renters. Families are being evicted under the guise of renovation of properties and people are being moved out of houses for no good reason. Those are people who are paying their rent and who have good behaviour in society, but they have no protection. We are stating that it is necessary to ban evictions because we are reducing homelessness.
When I raised this matter as a councillor on Cork City Council as the homeless figures kept going up, officials told me the single biggest contributory factor to homelessness in Cork was evictions by landlords under the guises of selling houses or renovations. That is morally wrong. The people who are forcing individuals out for those reasons are corrupting the system to suit themselves. Renters need fairness and there should be no evictions for the reasons I have outlined.