Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the government for continuing to fail renters.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The new renters Bill before us in the Dáil today represents a further erosion of the protections afforded to renters during the first lock down last year.
“This Bill does extend protections to a small group of renters for a short period of time, but crucially it removes protections from a much larger group of renters with immediate effect.
“This would not be acceptable in normal times, and it is totally unacceptable in the difficult and dangerous times we are currently in.
“The Minister for Housing again evaded the pre-legislative process at the Housing Committee and is now steamrolling this important bill through the Oireachtas without allowing sufficient time for debate.
“Minister Darragh O’Brien is developing habit of trying to avoid Housing Committee scrutiny of his controversial legislation. He did the same with his LDA bill.
“Renters deserve better. This is not the way legislation affecting tens of thousands of people should be dealt with.
“Many tenants who have been hit with unreasonable rent increases, or who are experiencing other difficulties will be in arrears, and if this bill passes they will be at risk of homelessness.
“This is not just my view. Threshold have written to Housing Committee members saying that Section 2 will lead to ‘private renters to be evicted even when the moratorium is in place’.
“The Simon Communities have also written to TDs saying that ‘such a blanket removal of protection from a vulnerable group at a time of crisis is unnecessarily punitive’.
“Yet Minister O’ Brien does what he does best and ploughs on regardless of the consequences.
“It is not good enough and I would call on government TDs uncomfortable with the Minister’s approach to support opposition amendments calling for this punitive measure to be removed from the Bill.”