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State must act to protect tenants from homelessness – Ellis

22 March, 2016 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the caretaker government and any future government to act to protect the rights tenants from vulture funds and unbridled greed. He made his comments as part of a Dáil debate on housing and homelessness. He also stated his support for the families of Cruise Park estate in Tyrellstown and Eden in Blackrock, Cork.

Deputy Ellis said:

“The last government failed to build even 1300 council houses in its 5 years, it failed to tackle soaring rents, it cut rent supplement twice and the dole for young people. It failed utterly to protect tenants and homeowners from profiteering which threatened their homes.

“A clear example is the case of Cruise Park estate in Tyrellstown and Eden in Blackrock in Cork where vulture funds out to pick the carcass of the Irish housing market have laid their greedy hands.

“I want to commend the Tyrellstown Tenants Action group who are in the Gallery today. They are fighting for their families, their children and their community.

“These are real people, and there will be real consequence if they are put out on the street.

“Regardless of any commitments made by Twinlite or others we know that up to 200 families in Tyrellstown face eviction with no real protection.

“We know that tenants like those in Tyrellstown are in danger of this across the state because of this lack of protection for tenants from vulture funds and the failure of the previous government to implement a binding code of conduct on such groups in their dealings with tenants.

“Despite this crisis which has been brewing for years, Fianna Fáil actually opposed allowing statements on housing today. It would have been more in the interests of the people if the two largest parties in this Dáil were to come to an arrangement to have a cross party agreement on the protections needed for these tenants and those that will undoubtedly come after them should nothing be done here.

“Tyrellstown and Blackrock must be the jolt the state needs to act to protect tenants.

“If protection of these tenants cannot be guaranteed, the state should intervene to take the homes into public ownership.

“We need to enshrine the right to a home in our constitution but also in our policy and in our laws to say that housing is the priority not profits for developers and vulture funds.” 

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