‘Bring back the eviction ban’
Irish Jesuit Peter McVerry of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice says he is “disappointed, but not surprised,” that in the last three months alone, 359 children have been made homeless, and the JCFJ is calling for the eviction ban, put in place during the first lockdown to be reinstated.
The number of homeless families and individuals has increased steadily for the past six months according to the JCFJ’s Social Policy Advocate Keith Adams. He says that the November 2021 Homeless Figures released today, Friday 7 January 2022, showed an increase of 1,108 people, of which 400 are children, since May 2021, the month after the eviction ban was lifted.
Homeless campaigner McVerry says that “The ban on evictions from the private rented sector, introduced in October 2020, resulted in a dramatic reduction of almost 2,000 in homelessness. Since the lifting of the ban in April 2021, the number of adults and children in homelessness has increased by more than 1,100. With future eviction bans having been ruled out, the number of homeless families will almost certainly continue to increase in the months ahead.”
The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice proposes that to stop the flow of households being evicted from the private rental sector, Minister O’Brien must legislate to reinstate the eviction ban.
According to Keith Adams, the increase of over 1,100 adults and children since the lifting of the eviction ban is one of the fastest periods of increasing homelessness since early 2018, when numbers rose to more than 10,000 adults and children. With this trajectory, Housing For All’s commitment to eradicate homelessness is becoming harder by the day.”
He continues,” Minister O’Brien predicts that child homelessness will increase well into 2022, therefore he must take preventative steps now. Ministerial commitments for additional ‘better quality’ family hubs will not reduce the numbers of families and children becoming homeless.”
Keith Adams also says that there is a clear moral imperative to prevent this type of homelessness due to the detrimental impact on family life and child development. “The eviction ban was the rarest of housing policy instruments as the positive effects were quickly felt by households in the private rented sector,” he claims, concluding that “Minister O’Brien needs to bring the eviction ban back to the table for immediate consideration.”