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Ellis calls on government to look at repossession policies in light of Supreme Court ruling

28 February, 2012 - by Dessie Ellis TD

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Dessie Ellis TD has called on the government to examine repossession policies for both home owners and local authority tenants.

Deputy Ellis made his remarks following the Supreme Court ruling that Section 62 of the Housing Act which allowed local authorities to repossess homes without an independent inquiry was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Dublin North-West TD said;

“The Supreme Court has held that the law allowing local authorities to get a court order for possession of a house without an independent inquiry is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Local authorities violate tenants’ human rights if they seek to act without any court or independent inquiry into the reasons why. Clearly an independent appeals and inquiry process must now be introduced for these situations.

“This opens up further questions regarding how the Government views repossession policies, not only for local authority tenants but also for those who own their own homes. We must ensure that eviction is only used as a mechanism of last resort.

“With regard to homeowners we cannot allow a situation where people are having their homes taken from them due to the very dire economic circumstances of the country. Lenders need to take responsibility for the agreements they entered into with people and recognise that debt resolution processes, as outlined by groups like FLAC, must take place, and this is in the interests of all involved in the longer term.

“The State must act on this sooner rather than later and provide for this process to take place independently in order to ensure that we do not have families put out of their homes or being put through protracted court proceedings.”

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