5 January 2001
Illegal evictions: Sinn Fein calls for Govt action
Sinn Fein has urged the Government to ``stop dithering'' on bringing in new laws to protect tenants in private-rented accommodation from illegal evictions, unjust rent rises and poor conditions.
Sinn Fein Councillor Seán Crowe was speaking after the Threshold housing rights agency revealed a 150 per cent rise in illegal evictions last year. Cllr Crowe said that he is currently dealing with the illegal eviction in Clondalkin of a woman with two children in Christmas week. One of the children was a 4-week-old baby.
Calling on Housing Minister Bobby Molloy to immediately act on proposals published last July by the Commission on the Private Rented Sector, Cllr Crowe called for the statutory control of rents, effective laws on standards for accommodation, and more resources to enforce regulations. He said:
``The Government has a duty to protect the rights of everyone in housing - not just landlords. Tenants have rights and they must be protected.
``Spiralling house prices force people onto local authority waiting lists and into private-rented accommodation. There they face poor living conditions, high rents and no proper security of tenure. Unscrupulous landlords can let sub-standard property for high rents and evict tenants with little difficulty.
Sinn Fein has called on the Government to implement a `Social Housing Programme', to set targets for 70 per cent of people on waiting lists to be housed within two years, control of land prices to stop speculation, and special grants to encourage use of urban and rural derelict sites for new homes.
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