Threshold welcomes homelessness drop, but warns it could be reversed quickly
1 May 2020
Ban on evictions should be extended says charity
The national housing charity Threshold has welcomed the fall in homelessness figures in March but warned that the trend could be very quickly reversed if the Government’s moratorium on evictions and rent increases is not extended.
Government figures just published show 9,907 were homeless at the end of March, a drop of 241 over February. While there is traditionally a seasonal drop at this time of year, the 9,907 March 2020 number is also down 398 on March 2019.
“We are hopeful the moratorium on evictions is preventing the regular flow of people from the private rented sector into homelessness”, said the CEO of Threshold John-Mark McCafferty. “Renters have been disproportionally affected by COVID19. There are many renters who have lost their jobs and suffered major cuts in income as a result of the Covid 19 crisis, and they are facing into a reality of substantial rent arrears.
“Some landlords are showing flexibility and forbearance, but others are not. Unless the ban on evictions is extended beyond the current deadline of June, the recent modest gains in terms of the homelessness reduction will be reversed very quickly.
“If the moratorium on evictions results in an ongoing fall in homelessness during the pandemic then serious consideration must be given to changing the terms on which a tenant can lose their home. Three quarters of eviction notices we deal with at Threshold are no fault evictions. Tenants in Ireland can still have their home taken away for no reason. This must change.”
“We would urge anyone who is facing the prospect of losing their home to call us for advice and assistance at 1800 454 454,” Mr McCafferty concluded.