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Martin says extending eviction ban would make market ‘worse’

Micheal Martin said Ireland was ‘turning the corner’ in relation to new house builds.


Tanaiste Micheal Martin (PA/Niall Carson)

Tanaiste Micheal Martin (PA/Niall Carson)

Tanaiste Micheal Martin (PA/Niall Carson)

Tanaiste Micheal Martin said the Government received advice that, if it were to extend the eviction ban, it would have had to be for two years and that it would have to be underpinned by “strong legal support”.

However, he said that extending the ban would make the situation worse.

“That is the real hard decision that had to be taken because otherwise we would just continue to make it worse,” he said.

Mr Martin said it would result in more people leaving the market due to concerns over certainty or yield.

Speaking to RTE, Mr Martin said that the Government and local authorities “will do everything we possibly can” to prevent people becoming homeless.

He said there was a need to increase supply and build more houses.

“In the short term, we will be leasing more housing, particularly social houses,” he said.

Mr Martin said that the advice given to Government was that extending the eviction ban would add to the number of landlords leaving the market and “certainly wouldn’t incentivise” any one else from entering.

“We didn’t want to make the situation worse and create an even further prospect of homelessness into the future,” he said.

“The solution to this is more housing,” he added.

He said that Ireland was “turning the corner” in relation to new house builds but Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine damaged confidence in the market.

Mr Martin said that there are “issues” around small landlords paying tax on rental income while large investment funds pay much less.

“There are issues there and I think we can improve the situation for particularly smaller landlords with one or two houses,” he said.

Asked whether he would support tax breaks for landlords before the next budget, Mr Martin said that the Government is developing a “package of measures” for that budget.

“We have to avoid a rushed decision,” he said.

Sinn Fein TD Matt Carthy said the Tanaiste is “completely removed and out of touch” with the lived reality of people facing homelessness.

Mr Carthy said Sinn Fein representatives have discovered that 18 local authorities across the country do not have capacity to provide additional emergency accommodation as the eviction ban comes to an end this month.

He called for the expansion of emergency capacity during an extension of the eviction ban.

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