Lord Mayor warns of escalating national eviction crisis
A major anti-eviction rally takes place in Cork today as campaigners warned more than 200 householders face having to quit homes because of bank, receiver and landlord-driven sales.
The protest takes place as the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Chris O'Leary, warned he fears thousands of householders nationwide will face eviction notices over the coming months given the surging number of properties being brought to market and requiring vacant possession for sale.
"This is going to be the major social crisis we face this year," he said.
The Cork protest also aims to increase pressure for emergency Government action on the escalating national housing crisis.
The protest is aimed at highlighting the plight of tenants who now fear eviction.
The demonstration, planned for Cork City Hall at 5pm, will also highlight how councils are struggling to cope with the chronic shortage of suitable housing.
"The Government must realise that enormous pressure is being placed on authorities like Cork City Council because of the housing situation," Councillor Thomas Gould said.
"Councils are at the point of not being able to provide other essential services because resources are being diverted to cover the failure of the Government to deal with the housing crisis," he added.
It also aims to focus attention on the alarming increase in the rate of homelessness around Ireland.
"This is a national housing emergency," Cllr Gould said.
"It should not be acceptable for it to be the norm to see people bedding down at night in our city centres in the doorways of buildings."
The protest came as a new survey underlined why banks, receivers and landlords are now trying to off-load properties despite spiralling rental yields.
Property prices in Cork have soared by 1.75pc in just the last three months.
Prices in the county soared by 3.7pc over the same period.
One complex in Blackrock, Eden, was the focus of 35 notice-to-quit letters to tenants in January despite the fact that rents had gone up by 25pc just last year.
An estimated 25 of the 35 tenants have since left the complex with the receiver allowing extra time beyond the March 18 deadline for those who are finding it difficult to secure alternative accommodation.
The Eden complex was developed on the site of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock.
The 22-acre site was originally purchased for €13m in 2001 but was later sold for €30m and was the focus of plans to develop 550 high-end housing units.
A receiver was appointed to portions of the complex in 2010 on behalf of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).