Eviction ban needs to be extended while a new homeless plan is developed, says Sr Stan

Veteran campaigner Sister Stanislaus Kennedy says the eviction ban needs to be retained until the Government stops “lurching from one short-term crisis response to the next”.

r Stan, who has worked with the homeless for decades, believes the situation has never been so worrying.

And with ministers meeting today to decide on whether to end a ban on evictions, Sr Stan told the Irish Independent it needs to be extended beyond the end of this month.

While noting that the ban is not a long-term solution to the crisis, she said it offers breathing space for politicians to come up with a workable plan.

The 83-year-old activist said: “The Government must stop lurching from one short-term crisis response to the next. We need a clear plan to tackle the underlying problems – that means the eviction ban is essential, and should be extended over the timescale required to deliver the Government plan.

“There are two clear actions the Government could take now with the stroke of a pen that would help to ease the deepening crisis.

“We need decisive action to keep small-scale landlords in the market and people in their rented homes, and we also need action to ensure that families who are homeless get a fairer share of the social housing that is becoming available.”

Homelessness figures continue to rise, with 11,754 people now without a home. The vast majority stay in emergency accommodation, such as hostels or hotels.

“This is the worst I have ever seen homelessness in Ireland since we first set up Focus Ireland in 1985,” Sr Stan said.

She was speaking alongside music star Lyra as they promoted the Sunday Independent’s annual Rock Against Homelessness concert in aid of Focus Ireland. It will take place at Dublin’s 3 Olympia on May 26.

“Being homeless causes people terrible trauma and it damages children the most. It is shameful that nearly 3,500 children are currently homeless in Ireland,” Sr Stan said.

“Most of these families lost their homes in the rental sector due to rocketing rents, landlords leaving the market and the pressure due to the rising cost-of-living crisis.”

Speaking about the concert, she said: “I want to thank Lyra and all the other acts playing. We have to raise over 40pc of our annual budget through fundraising and events such as this so we can always be there when people need us.”


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