No decision has been made on whether to extend the eviction ban beyond March, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.
Last year, the Government legislated to ban evictions between 1st November and the end of March amid a surging number of homelessness.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said the Cabinet had approved the decision “on the basis of the exceptional winter that we’re facing into”.
Yesterday, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman, warned ministers that housing Ukrainians was likely to become even harder in the months ahead; many hotels are expected to return to catering for tourists and Minister O’Gorman stressed that the Government needed to reduce its reliance on private housing providers.
Some 5,800 modular and refurbished accommodation places are expected to become available in the months ahead but officials do not expect this will be enough.
An Taoiseach said any extension of the eviction ban would depend on the number of homeless people.
“We haven’t made any decision on that as a Government just yet whether or not it will be extended,” he told Newstalk.
“The figures that we have so far do relate to November and that would have only been in the very early stages of that - we don’t have the numbers from December yet.
“They may indicate a fall - I hope they do - and obviously, we don’t have the figure from January either.”
In November, there were a record 11,542 people being accommodated by homeless services - up from 11,397 the previous month.
In response, the Simon Communities of Ireland urged the Government to speed up the provision of accommodation for those in need.
“We need to see momentum on the provision of secure affordable accommodation to those in homelessness in the coming weeks and throughout 2023,” Executive Director Wayne Stanley said.
“Otherwise, we are facing into ongoing extensions and renewals of the eviction ban and that’s not a long-term solution.”
Main image: Leo Varadkar. Image: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie