Remember the housing crisis? You know - the biggest social and economic issue in Ireland, affecting almost everyone in some way, that sparked a voters' revolt?
The pandemic forced a pause on it, with a rent freeze and a ban on evictions: the root causes of housing emergencies.
It didn't change anything for anyone trapped in a rental property and handing half their earnings over to the landlord. But it stopped it getting worse. Ironically, coronavirus allowed renters to breathe. Covid did what the Government refused to do: give tenants a break.
Well, the housing crisis is officially back, thanks to new Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien, who would make you wonder what was the point in getting rid of his predecessor, Eoghan Murphy.
His maiden piece of legislation was sneakily anti-renter: it looked good, but it just shafted us.
It led to the Green Party's Neasa Hourigan resigning her role as chief whip to stand against it. She said it was: "Very worrying… a very serious bill that will affect families who need a home."
Campaigners described it as "cruel" and "piecemeal". TD Richard Boyd-Barrett criticised it as a "shameful betrayal of tenants". Opposition housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin was right when he called it "an attack on renters".
Darragh O'Brien's new laws just mean Ireland's renters go from an acute crisis back to a chronic one.
The Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill, which takes effect this week, is a two-tier system, that only protects tenants directly hit by Covid-19. As if the rest of us were grand amid the worst human crisis of a lifetime.
Only those who can prove the economic impact of it left them unable to pay will continue to benefit from the rent freeze.
Everyone else can go back to living under the constant threat of eviction for renovations or because a relative is moving in, and the 4pc rent cap, which in effect is an annual government- sanctioned rent rise.
Those who built up rent arrears during the virus crisis will be protected from imminent tenancy terminations - which is great for that cohort.
But it means that others who may have worked night and day in order to meet the rent - for example, nurses, gardaí and shopworkers - will be effectively penalised for doing so.
It does not take into account that renters were already in an emergency when Covid hit. There aren't two distinct groups of renters, those deserving of basic protections and those undeserving of them.
In reality, this Bill does sweet FA. If anything, it's a law of inaction. It removes protections from the vast majority of tenants.
It has brought us back to the future - the situation has returned to exactly how it was under Fine Gael in January. Except now it will be worse because we're dealing with both a pandemic and a recession.
After previously promising protections through to October, the minister has now rushed through this legislation that purports to extend protections to tenants but, in practicality, does the opposite.
Why not extend it to everyone? Does Mr O'Brien not realise that we voted to solve the housing crisis, not maintain it?
Maybe he thinks the virus has brought clarity and we should all now be happy to pay an average of €2,000 a month for accommodation, topping the world table for income spent on rent, at 40pc.
Or that it's now acceptable for adults to be still living with their parents into their 30s and beyond.
Or for kids to grow up sleeping on couches. Or for 44pc of 20-year-olds to say their biggest worry for the future is housing. Or for rents to have gone up by 40pc in the past few years, while wages did not.
Or that it's OK to continue a system that harks back to feudalism, where tenants are stuck paying more than a mortgage to landlords, because the high rates mean they can't save for a deposit?
That somehow, we've all moved on - nothing to see here?
The crisis is still there. Many of us were naively hoping that the new minister would make positive steps to alleviate it, as soon as practically possible, once the worst of the pandemic passed. Aside from addressing the social inequality of it, it makes political and economic sense.
He should read his own party's 1991 policy document, 'A Plan For Housing', which states: "Ensuring every household has a dwelling suitable to its needs, located in an acceptable environment, at a price or rent it can afford."
Instead, the new Government trotted out how the Attorney General believed it was unconstitutional and it made the decision to accept that, not to let the courts test it, which would have bought time. Legal experts say they'd take a punt on it being accepted in the courts due to the public health emergency.
Honestly, would it have killed them to not pander to landlords' needs for the one year of the pandemic?
Ask anyone who is renting: this is bad news. This bill - in line with policy of the past six years - once again protects landlords at the expense of families. It's a hindrance, not a help. I'd classify it in the category 'worse than useless'.
But at least it has revealed one illuminating fact: Darragh O'Brien is not on the side of those caught in the rental trap.
And if he genuinely believes this bunkum bill is of any benefit to Ireland's one million citizens in rental accommodation, then he fundamentally misunderstands this crisis.