National housing charity, Threshold has welcomed the prospect of the reintroduction of a blanket ban on evictions as new Covid-19 restrictions are to be implemented.
Speaking in response to the Government’s commitment to reintroduce the moratorium on evictions, Threshold has called for the emergency measure to remain in place for at least six months.
John-Mark McCafferty, CEO of Threshold said: “The moratorium on evictions can only be said to have had a positive impact for those experiencing homelessness, those at risk of homelessness, for all people renting and worrying about losing their home and for the public purse. There was a 23% drop in family homelessness and a 21% drop in child homelessness between March and July 2020 when the initial moratorium was in place.
“Once the moratorium on evictions came to an end in August this year, the number of tenants requiring Threshold’s assistance with notices of termination increased, and went back almost to 2019 levels. It was a return to business as usual for tenants, not knowing if they could count on having a home in a few weeks or months. This will be compounded by an anticipated significant rise in unemployment, meaning that more households will have reduced incomes.”
Chairperson of Threshold, Aideen Hayden said: “Learnings from the recent past point to a need to implement an eviction ban sooner rather than later. We have been encouraged to see a sense of forbearance from many landlords to date since the onset of the pandemic, but this forbearance cannot be expected to last indefinitely – renters need robust protections. Can the RTB be given greater powers to enforce the new ban once this is introduced?”
McCafferty continued: “We are also acutely aware of the concerns of students in rented accommodation and would appeal to providers of both on-campus and purpose-built student accommodation to issue a rent refund to any student that chooses to return home in light of new restrictions.
“We would urge anyone who is facing the prospect of losing their home to call us for advice and assistance at 1800 454 454,” McCafferty concluded.