Friday, 27 March 2020
An Bille um Bearta Éigeandála ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail (Covid-19) 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I will speak to my own amendment, No. 14. It refers to tenants who are in licence agreements. These are primarily people who rent a room in a property owner's home under the rent-a-room scheme. They also needed to be protected from eviction during this period.
I support the point Senator Ruane made with regard to access to rent supplement. In the past number of days, we have heard that supports will be afforded and beefed up. We need some answers today as to how people will be able to access these in a timely manner because I have been contacted by many people whose rent is due next week or the week after and they want to know that they will be able to access rent supplement and pay their rent. These are people who have been living in properties for many years. We currently have the highest number of renters in the history of the State. Many of them have lost their jobs in this unprecedented emergency. They need reassurance that they can get rent supplement for a number of months to get them through this period and to keep them in their homes.