Sinn Féin TD for Meath East, Darren O’Rourke, has said that data released on the number of eviction notices served from July to September 2022 underlined the need for the government to reverse its decision to end the eviction ban.Deputy O’Rourke was speaking after data released by the Residential Tenancies Board showed that 127 eviction notices were served in County Meath in Q3 2022

He told Meath Live, “The figures released by the Residential Tenancies Board today are truly shocking and seriously worrying. From July to September last year, 127 eviction notices in County Meath were served by landlords on their tenants.

“The latest RTB figures show that the sale of homeless risk from April 1st, when the government’s ban on evictions ends, is much worse than expected.“Notices issued from July to September would have, in many cases, fallen due from February during the ban period. A huge number of these notices will now fall due in April.“This will mean more people than ever before will have to leave their homes. Homeless services will not be able to cope.“The consequence will be thousands of people forced to stay with family and friends, a rise in rough sleeping, and the prospect of families with children being referred to Garda stations for a safe place to sleep.“The government does not grasp the severity of the situation, and Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urging him to reverse his government’s decision to lift the eviction ban.

“From July to September last year, 4,741 eviction notices across the state were served. These numbers are a direct consequence of government failure. For years they have over relied on the private rental sector to meet social and affordable housing need.“For six years, single property landlords have been leaving the market. Despite this, government has abjectly failed to deliver a sufficient volume of social and affordable housing, or to purchase private rental accommodation with tenants in situ. Meath County Council has completed only one such purchase, for example, with another property ‘sale agreed’. It is paltry.“The consequence is the number of singles, couples, families with children and pensions facing the harsh reality of homelessness in a matter of weeks.

“Government must immediately reverse the decision to end the ban on evictions. Emergency legislation must be brought before the Dáil before the ban ends on March 31st and all renters must be given the protection they deserve.“The government must accompany an extension of the ban on evictions with emergency measures to extend and expand the tenant-in-situ scheme for social and affordable rental and using emergency planning and procurement powers to target vacant and derelict homes and new building technologies to ramp up the delivery of public housing.”