Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the Government to strengthen the protections of Local Authority tenants from summary eviction without justification or due process. He made his comments during a topical issue debate today in the Dáil.
Deputy Ellis said;
"Tenants in this state are not protected adequately from summary eviction or eviction without justification while legally councils can evict without due process.
“In 2012 the Supreme Court ruled the Section 62 of the Housing Act 1966 to be in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights. Two years ago, I called on the Government to repeal Section 62 and to set in place legislation which would allow for an eviction process that demanded a fair hearing for tenants.
“Each eviction case must be heard on its merits and a district court of independent tribunal should make the final decision. This would be fair recognition of the state’s responsibility to uphold its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights.
“Against the backdrop of the Constitutional Convention supporting the inclusion of a right to housing, the Government must act swiftly now to end this situation. There cannot be a right to housing when tenants can be evicted on a whim without fair hearing or justification.
“This lack of legislative protection for tenants has real consequences.
“In November 2013, an unemployed pregnant woman with alcohol problems was evicted from her home forcing her into homeless accommodation.
“This month Cllr John Brady was served with an eviction notice for works carried out on his home ten years ago. This followed a long public campaign by John on behalf of a number of people who Bray Town Council had failed to protect from eviction.
“Right now, Patrick Collopy is fighting to keep the home he lived in while caring for his dying mother in Limerick City."