- 07 Oct 22
"Unless there is a ban on evictions this winter, the homeless numbers will rise to levels never thought possible before."
The Irish government is reportedly considering placing a ban on evictions this winter until the end of March, according to the Irish Times. This comes as part of plans to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and the expected electricity shortage.
The national grid operator EirGrid has predicted that homes and businesses could suffer this winter due to the country's electricity shortage. Due to rising demand and declining supplies, EirGrid's Winter Outlook expects "late November to mid-December and early January to mid-Feburary" to be when the demand and supply will be the tightest. Although, they've assured there is no risk of system-wide blackouts in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Eviction bans have been implemented in France last year and in Scotland this year until March 2023. An issue with these bans is whether landlords would have a legal challenge on the basis of their rights being restricted.
There are concerns within the government, with a Fine Gael source saying, "“It’s simple to request it, but what’s the effect, are there unintended consequences.”
However, Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said, "Unless there is a ban on evictions this winter, the homeless numbers will rise to levels never thought possible before." Irish homelessness is already at a record high, hitting 10,805- a 32% increase from last August.
The Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien is reportedly working on further tax breaks for landlords which could be included in the Finance Bill.
Eamon Ryan, the Green Party leader, is said to be in contact with energy companies seeking reassurances about consumer protections due to accusations that less fortunate households risk their meters being cut off.