Minister O’Brien must answer questions on RTB eviction notice data - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has called on Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to clarify whether, when ending the ban on no-fault evictions, he and his cabinet colleagues knew that 9000 eviction notices had been issued in the second half of last year.
The Dublin Mid-West TD also called on the Minister to clarify whether he or any of his officials pressured the Residential Tenancies Board to delay the publication of the eviction notice figures.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Today the Dublin Inquirer has published a story which shows that the Residential Tenancies Board sent the Department of Housing data in January and February, indicating that almost 9000 eviction notices had been issued to tenants in the second half of last year.
“The Department of Housing received this information on January 19th and February 7th - a full month before the government decided to end the ban on no-fault evictions on March 7th.
“Minister O’Brien must clarify whether he and his cabinet colleagues had this information when making a decision on the ending of the ban.
“It is hard to imagine any set of circumstances where Department of Housing Officials would not have shared this information with the Minister in advance of such a significant decision.
“If it transpires that Minister O’Brien and his cabinet colleagues had this information and chose to ignore its implications, it makes their decision to end the ban on no-fault evictions even more callous.
“The Dublin Inquirer also has information to indicate that the Department of Housing sought a delay from the Residential Tenancies Board in publishing the data.
“Despite being available from the start of February, the Q3 eviction notice data was not published until March 10th, three days after the ending of the ban.
“And despite the RTB saying that the Q4 data would be released in the week of March 20th, it was delayed by two weeks and only released on April 3rd - two weeks after the government voted against the Sinn Féin legislation to extend the eviction ban.
“Darragh O’Brien must clarify whether he or any of his officials pressured the Residential Tenancies Board to delay the publication of this crucial data until after the Dáil debates and votes on the decision.”