- 22 Feb 23
Kieran O'Donnell tried to rectify his mistake after he forgot to oppose the People Before Profit eviction ban extension bill.
Today, a bill proposing a 12 month ban on evictions reached the second stage of the Dáil when Junior Housing Minister Kieran O'Donnell forgot to oppose it.
Homelessness, which is already on the rise, remains an ever-looming threat over many people as the cost-of-living crisis continues. People Before Profit hoped to combat it by introducing today's bill to the Dáil to extend the eviction ban to a total of 12 months.
The current expiration date for the eviction ban is at the end of March.
People Before Profit claims that, at the moment, almost 60% of evictions today are because landlords are selling their properties, an ongoing phenomenon that has made it more difficult for renters to find affordable renting prices amidst the housing shortage.
Landlords began selling their properties after recognising the financial issues the cost-of-living crisis posed to many tenants. The IOPA, the Irish Property Owners Association, called the eviction ban "highly discriminatory against landlords."
Previous demands by the IOPA for tax reductions and relaxation of regulations went unmet in January, which would have, they say, made the leasing business more appealing.
The ecosocialist organisation accuses landlords of knowing that house prices are starting to fall and that by selling their properties they will be able to "cash in."
The bill is expected to be stopped within its next stage. Until then, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the government will make a decision about whether or not to extend the ban before St. Patrick's Day.
The eviction ban would declare a state of housing emergency for the next 12 months. During that time, tenants could only be evicted in the case of anti-social behaviour or damage to the property. Evidence would be needed to make either claim.
It also includes a clause allowing the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to extend the emergency eviction ban for longer if they thought it necessary.
Minister Kieran O'Donnell did try to rectify his error, but was quickly stopped by the Ceann Comhairle even as he asked for "an indulgence" for his "rookie mistake."
"No, no. You can't come in afterwards... No point of order."
"There is a well established practice. You call for a decision, the decision was made, and I'm not prepared to have it unmade."
Watch the moment People Before Profit's Eviction Ban Bill passes the 2nd Stage.
Not what the Government had in mind... #banevictions #housingcrisis #homesforall pic.twitter.com/oxG0djwmse
— People Before Profit (@pb4p) February 22, 2023
Posting the video to their Twitter, People Before Profit ended the video with the signage "People Before Profit eviction ban bill passes 2nd stage. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Other cost-of-living measures are set to expire after February due to budget constraints, although the government plans to retain a few. Which will be kept has yet to be determined.