Dáil to Vote On Aontú Plan to Extend Eviction Ban for Tenants Who Are Pregnant, Disabled, or Chronically Ill
Aontú have tabled an amendment to the government's counter motion on the eviction ban which would trigger a vote in the chamber tomorrow.
Speaking today, Aontú leader and Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín, said:
"Our Aontú amendment seeks to inject a small bit of compassion into the government's proposals - it offers government TD's a chance to compromise on the lifting of the eviction ban. Our amendment seeks to offer specific protections against eviction for people who have a disability, or who are suffering from cancer or another severe illness, and also for tenants who are pregnant or who have given birth to a child within the last three years and people aged over 65 years. The reality is that there are many local authorities around the country where there is not a single available emergency homeless accommodation bed. There is now a real likelihood that, with the lifting of the ban, young families, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, old age pensioners or cancer patients could be turfed out onto the streets with nowhere to go".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "We in Aontú accept that the eviction ban was only a temporary measure, but the problem is that the government appears to have done nothing to prepare for what will happen to people facing eviction now that the ban has been lifted. In this context - recognising the situation for the humanitarian crisis and emergency that it is - we cannot support the lifting of the ban until the appropriate groundwork has been done. My amendment will come to a vote tomorrow and I sincerely hope that government TDs use it as an opportunity to mitigate some of the worst fears people have about the lifting of the ban and the potentially disastrous consequences it will have".
"I implore backbenchers in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party to support me in this - this is a very basic, humane and middle-ground amendment. People should be true to their constituents on this - and true to their conscience. If they wish to vote against my amendment tomorrow night then they'd better be prepared to answer the question that many vulnerable people around the country are asking themselves today - "when I'm evicted, where will I go?". I don't think the government fully comprehends the enormity of what could happen here in the coming weeks. Almost 400 people died while homeless in Dublin over the past five years. This is a national scandal. We need specific protections for people who are struggling with young children, who are pregnant, who are fighting a terminal or chronic illness, people who have a disability and people who are elderly. Surely we can all agree that people in those situations shouldn't be evicted? Aontú will spend today lobbying other TDs from other parties to support our amendment", concluded Deputy Tóibín.
Amendment in the name of Peadar Tóibín TD to the Government amendment on the Sinn Féin Motion re Eviction Ban.
After the final line, to insert the following:
"Provision to be made to ensure that no person can be evicted if they fulfil any of the following criteria:
(A) If they or a member of their family living in the relevant accommodation has a disability.
(B) If they or a member of their family living in the relevant accommodation has a terminal illness, a cancer diagnosis, has suffered a stroke, has advanced heart disease or suffers from poor mental health.
(C) If they or a member of their family living in the relevant accommodation is pregnant or has given birth in the last 3 years.
(D) If they or a member of their family living in the relevant accommodation is over the age of 65 years."