Fianna Fáil City Councillor Alan Cheevers has expressed strong criticism of the government’s decision to end the eviction ban.
In a statement to Galway Daily, Councillor Cheevers said that as a loyal member of Fianna Fáil, he has always supported government policy.
But the councillor, who represents Galway City East, said that he disagrees with the government’s decision to end the eviction ban at the end of March.
“Over the last few weeks many of my constituents who are on notice to quit, have contacted me. Many of these people do not know whether they will have a roof over their heads in the coming weeks.”
“It is also more alarming that at present Galway City Council has very limited emergency accommodation to offer,” Alan Cheevers said.
The government decision to end the ban on landlords evicting patients at the end of last month was met with counter legislation in the Dáil, and a confidence vote which the government won.
More than 4,300 notices to quit were issued by landlords across Ireland in the final three months of last year, newly published figures from the Residential Tenancies Board have shown.
Councillor Cheevers said that he “can’t support a policy of ending the eviction ban at present until the programme of measures and supports proposed by government are fully operational.”
The eviction ban should remain in place until September of this year he added, as the time given to implement these measures has been insufficient.
“I realise that the ban cannot continue on a long term basis and we must protect the rental market. But it’s important that the programme of measures is given sufficient time to work and lessen the impact on those who could end up homeless.”
He added that inroads have been made on housing targets, with 30,000 homes delivered last year, including 7,000 social housing units, but that stronger output is needed from local authorities.
“In conclusion I believe that I must follow my conscience and represent many of my constituents who are in danger of losing their homes.”