Ireland's eviction ban is due to end on March 31, leaving many thousands of families at risk of eviction. Many say that in Ireland’s housing crisis, they cannot find replacement accommodation and they face homelessness.
Already one member of the Green Party, a partner in the coalition government, has said she will vote with Sinn Féin in a Dáil motion seeking to extend the eviction ban until 2024.
Rebel Green TD Neasa Hourigan wrote in the Sunday Independent that she is supporting the Sinn Féin motion because there was “no transparency” around the government's decision to remove the ban at the end of this month.
She wrote, “What if any, measures to mitigate the terrible impact of the decision were discussed?”
Hourigan faces suspension from the Greens’ parliamentary party if she goes ahead with her intention to vote against the government.
That would leave the coalition with a majority of one, and heavily dependent on the group of eight independent TDs, one of whom, Michael Healy Rae, said he will also vote against the government on the evictions issue.
Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik told RTE on Tuesday that the government's own figures say its targets are falling short of the 50,000 new homes that need to come on stream every year.
She said the eviction ban was only ever meant to provide the government with breathing space and enable it to increase supply, but now the country is facing a potential tsunami of homelessness.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin said that if the eviction moratorium lapses, there would be levels of homelessness he never thought would have been possible in his 28 years of housing activism.
There is widespread public opposition to the government's plan to lift the eviction ban this month and a protest march is planned in Dublin later this month.
Broadcasting and acting stars have joined a campaign calling on the government to extend the eviction ban.
*This column first appeared in the March 22 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.