Evictions bans make homelessness worse, the Taoiseach has told the Dáil.
Last week, officials revealed that the number of people accessing emergency accommodation in the State had risen to 12,259 - the highest on record.
It is the first set of figures released since the eviction ban came to an end on March 31st and Mr Varadkar said lifting the ban was the right decision.
“At best it [an eviction ban] reduces homelessness in the short-term but it probably doesn’t even do that,” he told the Dáil.
“What it does do is make it worse in the medium-term; when you lift the ban, you’ve a glut of eviction notices that then get affected and then [in] the long-term it makes it even worse - again.
“Because you have fewer people willing to offer properties to rent in the private rental market.”
Mr Varadkar said he had “no ideological objection” to eviction bans but his experience in Government had turned him against them.
“[We have] done it twice,” he said.
“The problem is it doesn’t work and, as we saw from the recent eviction ban, the number of people in emergency accommodation continued to rise pretty much every month when it was in place.
“All it does is make the problem worse in the medium and long-term.”
After the eviction ban came to an end in March, Fr Peter McVerry said he was “in despair” and described it as “the worst possible time” for the measure to lapse.
He said there was “virtually no emergency accommodation available anywhere in this country” and that the Government had done nothing to “mitigate the effect of [ending] this ban”.
Main image: Leo Varadkar speaking in the Dáil. Image via Oireachtas TV