The chief executive of housing association Threshold said housing availability in Ireland was at a “very dismal level” and called for a “moderate” eviction ban to help tenants in the short term.
ohn-Mark McCafferty said many people are homeless because they cannot find shelter and are not being accommodated by local authorities on an emergency basis.
“Ultimately we are looking for much longer leases, similar to those in other parts of northern and western Europe,” he told Independent.ie.
“Obviously we are facing a lot of evictions at the moment, our advisors are supporting people who are at risk of termination or evictions and the number is generally double the number of people we were dealing with immediately prior to the pandemic.
“The main reason for this is that smaller landlords are selling, some are exiting the market altogether, but they are selling individual properties and tenants where those evictions are in effect, those families have no choice but to vacate the home as per the eviction period.”
This year, Threshold has assisted an average of 462 monthly private tenants who have received notices from their landlord.
Most of them, 58 pieces, were given out because the landlord intends to sell the house. Threshold said this is “dramatically” different from 2019, when the charity supported 263 private tenants a month who had received evictions, half of which were for sale purposes.
This comes as government leaders are set to meet tonight to consider a possible moratorium on eviction notices (NTQs) served by landlords once they decide to evict their tenants.
Mr McCafferty said the charity was concerned that people were now securing housing in “arbitrary” ways due to the lack of availability nationwide.
“Up until four or five years ago, private renters had more options, while today there is little or no housing available in the private rental market,” he said.
“Local authorities are stretched to capacity in terms of the emergency shelters available to them, so the real concern right now is families and individuals surfing the couch and finding themselves in all sorts of haphazard arrangements.
“Before the pandemic the amount of available rental housing was going down, now it’s at a very grim level and it’s a very grim situation.”
Mr McCafferty said a “moderate” eviction ban was needed as people were caught between a “rock and a hard place”.
The charity has called for the removal of “no-fault” evictions from the Residential Tenancies Acts.
“We are reluctant to ask for this because we know it could have a longer term impact on the market and the availability of smaller landlords to provide housing. We are in dire circumstances now and we need to be careful when making a decision about a very rough measure like a moratorium,” he said.
“We recognize the concerns of smaller landlords who only have one or two properties, they house the vast majority of medium to low income private renters. We understand that they are concerned about this, but we are caught between a rock and a difficult spot here.”
Mr McCafferty said it was also very “important” to expand rent pressure zones across the country.
“While we know that rental pressure zones are not always respected, I think it is important to note that while the vast majority of tenants are covered by rental pressure zones, there are parts of the country that are not covered by rental pressure zones.
“Outside of rent pressure zones there are massive rent increases and these are areas where incomes and salaries are generally lower and so the affordability impact can be devastating for people on fixed and lower incomes, and if they pay that rent, can they do. not paying their energy or food bills.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/its-got-to-very-grim-levels-threshold-says-eviction-notices-have-doubled-as-it-calls-on-government-to-protect-vulnerable-tenants-42073748.html ‘It’s gotten to a very grim level’ – Threshold says eviction notices have doubled as it urges the government to protect vulnerable tenants