Q&A: Why is the Government ending the eviction ban?

Q&A: Why is the Government ending the eviction ban?

Last year, legislation was passed to introduce an eviction ban, which came into force at the end of October. 

It had been introduced as a temporary measure to provide relief for renters and homeless services over the winter months. 

However, in recent weeks, members of the opposition and campaign groups have been demanding that the ban be extended beyond March 31 when it is set to expire. 

Some 2,700 notices to quit have been paused since the evictions ban was introduced. 

The Taoiseach had promised that a final decision would be made on the matter before the Dáil rises for St Patrick’s week.

What decision has the Government made?

Cabinet has agreed that the ban will not be extended beyond March.

Mr Varadkar said the Cabinet made the decision based on “what we thought was the right thing to do as a Government”.

The Taoiseach said Attorney General Rossa Fanning advised that it would be extremely difficult to justify a permanent extension of the eviction moratorium, but it would be possible to impose a temporary extension.

“Having considered it, the Government formed the view that it wasn’t in the public interest in the round to extend the eviction moratorium,” Mr Varadkar told the Dáil.

Why is the Government against an extension of the eviction ban?

The Government believes that “in the round” extending the ban on evictions is not a good idea as it would simply store up problems for the future.

The Taoiseach provided three main reasons for this when pressed on the matter in the Dáil.

First, the Government says that the moratorium was not effective in reducing homelessness as the number of people being provided with emergency accommodation by the State increased every month for which the moratorium was in place.

Second, the Taoiseach argued that the ban is beginning to create a new form of homelessness. 

He said people have been unable to move back from abroad into properties they own or to move a son or daughter into an apartment they had bought for that purpose.

“Some 20,000 to 30,000 Irish citizens return home every year. Most do not own their own house or apartment, but many do, and extending this moratorium for another six months or a year would not have been right or fair to those people,” Mr Varadkar told the Dáil.

Third, the Government be

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