April 10, 2020
Process required to address rent arrears debt burden – Eoin Ó Broin

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called for a dedicated meeting with officials from the Departments of Housing, Finance and Social Protection, along with Ministers and opposition spokespeople to put in place mechanisms to address the rent arrears burden post-crisis.

He said:

“During a briefing for opposition spokespersons with the Department of Housing this week I called for a dedicated meeting to be held with all relevant government departments, their Ministers and opposition spokespeople to put in place measures to deal with the rent arrears burden that will emerge post-crisis.

“The Department of Housing officials said that they are looking at the issue and the ESRI is conducting research on it, but it is clear that more needs to be done to protect tenants and landlords from rent arrears.

“While I welcome the publication of a new shorter rent supplement payment form, it is causing confusion and the Department of Social protection is not promoting it.

“The banks are also failing to play their part, leaving landlords who want to assist their tenants in a very difficult position in terms of mortgage payments.

“We need a whole of government approach to this issue especially as it could affect tens of thousands of workers and result in millions of euro of debt if action isn’t taken now and a proper plan put in place.

“I have written to the Ministers for Finance, Housing and Social Protection urging them to convene such a meeting so we can start work on this issue without delay.”

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