As of 31st March, the temporary ban on evictions introduced by the Government on 22nd October last year has been lifted.
The Government’s controversial decision to rescind the ban on evictions has met with backlash, with support for Fine Gael plummeting by 8 percentage points, according to the latest Behaviour and Attitudes survey conducted by the Sunday Times.
Numerous commentators have condemned the decision to end the ban, including writer Sally Rooney. The Normal People author penned in a recent Irish Times comment piece: “If we are serious about ending the housing crisis, then we must all be prepared to stand in solidarity with tenants – and of course with our homeless population – in the struggle for justice.” Rooney described evictions as “unjust and inhumane,” and criticised the “disproportionate” power wielded by landlords over the State. Rooney drew parallels between the struggle of the National Land League 150 years ago and the contemporary Irish political climate.
On 1st April, UCDSU and other affiliate members of the Cost of Living Coalition attended the “Evict the Government” rally outside Leinster House, calling for the reinstatement of the eviction ban. The protest also highlighted ongoing issues relating to the rising cost of living. Other rallies and demonstrations were held across the nation’s capital in solidarity with renters facing eviction, attended by other organisations such as CATU (Community Action Tenants’ Union).
The Government has argued that extending the ban would spur landlords to exit the rental market, and would lead to a reduced supply of residential accommodation. An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has described the housing crisis as “one of the greatest political challenges of our time.” The Government has argued that it will offset the challenge of increasing homelessness by investing in social housing.
UCDSU Sabbatical Officers have condemned the ban, and reported incidents of students calling in distress, facing the fear of eviction. 11,742 people are currently in emergency accommodation, at time of writing, according to breakingnews.ie.