Mondays meeting of Meath County Council became somewhat heated when a Sinn Féin motion calling for the moratorium on evictions to be extended until the end of the year to allow for more social and affordable housing to come on stream came up for discussion
Government party councillors accused SF of playing politics with the homeless crisis while at the same time objecting to new housing developments in different parts of the country.
Some Independent councillors abstained from voting on the motion stating that no problems would be solved by the council “tearing itself apart.”
Sinn Féin councillor Michael Gallagher argued that the Government should have given itself time to put other housing solutions in place and today Independent councillor Alan Lawes told Meath Live that the government needs an emergency response plan to cope with what he labelled a ‘perfect storm’ coming down the road.
Lawes claimed, ‘The problems created by the lifting of the eviction ban won’t be seen for about six months as most landlords give tenants a six month notice to quit,
‘The ingredients are there to create a perfect storm in housing, landlords see that house prices are falling and are getting nervous so understandably they want to cash in while they can.
‘If a tenant leaves the stark reality is there is nowhere for them to go, the councils are just not building enough social housing and emergency accommodation is full to capacity.
‘If someone approaches me to say they are being evicted my first, and probably only, option is to suggest they appeal the eviction notice to the Residential Tenancies Board, (RTB), I know that is kicking the can down the road for another few months but honestly there is nothing more I can think of.
‘The government needs an emergency response plan but there are two things I will say on that, firstly they don’t seem to see it as an emergency and secondly they are reluctant to respond in any way.’