Peter McVerry describes ending of eviction ban as 'a horror movie'

Vivienne Clarke

Veteran homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry has described the end of the eviction ban as “a horror movie” for tenants and said he was very concerned about where people were going to find emergency accommodation.

There was no emergency accommodation available around the country, he told Newstalk Breakfast. In the past families would have been put into hotels, but there were no hotel rooms available.

"I’m horrified at what’s going to happen in the next few months.


I am extremely concerned and I think this is a horror movie for all those tenants who have received a notice to quit and they are totally at a loss as to what to do.

“There is virtually no emergency homeless accommodation available anywhere in the country. Normally, families would be put up in hotels, but as we know, hotels are full, and many hotels are reverting back to tourism.

“So I am absolutely horrified at what is going to happen over the next few months.”

Fr McVerry said homeless campaigners had been in favour of extending the eviction ban to allow time to put in place mitigation measures. The majority of landlords were leaving the rental market because they needed to sell their property.


“That could have been dealt with by way of an exemption from the ban and the inconvenience to a landlord, to the vast majority of landlords, who want to sell their property. The inconvenience of renting, perhaps another 12 months is utterly minor compared to the trauma that is now going to be inflicted on those households who are facing eviction.

“I am horrified. I think it's an appalling decision. I think the decision was made to prevent this happening in the early months of next year when local and European elections are pending

“There is not one single homeless charity who supports the ending of the eviction ban. Every single charity has come out and said this is a disaster.

“There's no good time to lift the eviction ban. But during the eviction ban, it would have been hoped that measures would have been put in place to mitigate the worst effects of the eviction ban.

"If we had extended it for 12 months, you know, we could have 7000 modular units on site in the next 12 months if we wanted to. Modular unit only takes three months to build and another month, maybe two to put on the ground."

When asked if he had any advice for people faced with a termination notice, Fr McVerry said "I don't have any advice to give them. I'm sorry. To be honest, they are going to be evicted. They're going to be possibly on the street.

"Of course, go to your local council and look for emergency accommodation. If the local council doesn't have it, I don't know what you do, to be honest. Yeah, I mean, that's just the nightmare. That's the nightmare.”

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