Removing eviction ban 'the right decision in the medium-term' - O'Brien

Minister Darragh O'Brien said the ban did not work as there was not a reduction in homelessness
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.28 7 Mar 2023

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Removing eviction ban 'the rig...

Removing eviction ban 'the right decision in the medium-term' - O'Brien

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.28 7 Mar 2023

Share this article

Removing the eviction ban was the right decision in the medium-term, the Housing Minister has said.

Darragh O'Brien was speaking after the eviction ban will not be extended beyond March 31st.

Minister O'Brien told The Hard Shoulder the ban did not work.


"It didn't work as we would have hoped," he said.

"We didn't see a reduction in homelessness; we did see a stablisiation, which was welcome, and a small reduction in family homelessness.

"So in that sense, it would have been rather different than the results from the eviction pause during COVID, where we saw a substantial reduction... because more properties were available then and there was less movement within the market.

"That was part of the decision and part of our thinking today".

'Probably see increase in homelessness'

Minister O'Brien said there will likely be a short-term increase in homelessness.

"Notices to quit don't directly, or in any way correlate fully, to people accessing homeless emergency accommodation," he said.

"Notices to quit are issued for a variety of reasons.

"Undoubtedly, and I did say this earlier, that in the short-term we will probably see an increase in homelessness.

"But in the medium-term, it's the right decision.

"That is on-balance because if there was a further intervention made at this stage, I actually think we would see an increase flight of properties from the market".

'More first-time buyers'

Minister O'Brien said there is now more housing stock available.

"We've more emergency accommodation available, we've more social homes available - both new and ones that we've brought back from existing stock.

"There are measures that are brought in today, through the Government decision, that will allow us to deliver an additional 3,000 homes on top of 9,000 social homes that we brought forward.

"We actually exited about 1,800 people from emergency accommodation last year into permanent secure housing.

"That's what I want to see us do - I want to see more first-time buyers buying homes.

"25,000 first-time buyer mortgages were drawn down last year, many of whom used our Help-to-Buy Grant, and also the new First Home Scheme," he added.

'The wrong decision'

Dublin-Central TD Neasa Hourigan earlier told the show she could not understand this move.

"I think first of it's the wrong decision in terms of keeping people in their homes and protecting them during a housing crisis," she said.

"The Green Party has very clear policies around this.

"Not too long ago... the party's policy council - which is made up of our grassroot members - reaffirmed their commitment to the idea of an eviction ban on a short-term basis.

"This absolutely flies in the face of that.

"It does make me question: was there anybody in that room reflecting those more compassionate Green Party policies in the discussion?", she added.

Listen back to Minister O'Brien's full interview below:

Main image: File photo of Darragh O'Brien. Picture by: Sam Boal/

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