Housing – a social and political crisis

Where are those evicted to go?

Sir, – In the recent bad-tempered “debates” in the Dáil, Mary Lou McDonald asked a very pertinent question.

Where are those evicted to go?

This is the real crux of the matter.

Where are pensioners, or families with young children, or housemates to go now, when having introduced the eviction ban, the Government did little or nothing in practical terms to improve the availability of alternative housing of some description for those likely to be evicted after the lifting of the ban, knowing that many tenants had already been served with eviction notices.


Platitudes about housing starts or planning permissions granted are of no use to people walking the streets after eviction.

Homeless charities are being told not to send people to Garda stations, so where should people go when our Government hasn’t had the common sense or decency to organise some sort of alternative emergency accommodation during the duration of the eviction ban?

I suggest that anyone evicted and not provided with emergency accommodation by Official Ireland immediately afterward should collect their tents from the homeless charities and plonk themselves in the gardens and driveways of those elected representatives who voted to lift the eviction ban, and who didn’t bother to organise a supply chain of reasonable alternative accommodation before lifting the ban.

Perhaps if those TDs see the consequences of their actions in their own gardens and with their own eyes, they might wake up and realise that simply rebranding An Bord Pleanála is not going to solve the housing crisis, nor is fining the planning authorities through artificial deadlines, which ultimately will result in yet more profit-driven, developer-led piecemeal development in the near future.

And it’s not going to provide housing for those who will need it in the very near future, when they are evicted onto the streets because our Government has failed to plan, and failed to act.

Where is the alternative accommodation which should have been made ready during the eviction ban? – Yours, etc,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – In commenting on this week’s confidence vote, Stephen Collins argues that the Government’s “comfortable margin of victory highlighted the pointlessness of the Labour manoeuvre” (“Labour needs to stop aping Sinn Féin”, Opinion & Analysis, March 31st).

This is a crude and reductive view of the nature of parliamentary democracy. The opposition to the present Coalition is disparate. The confidence vote allowed Opposition parties and unaffiliated TDs the chance to stand up and be counted.

The housing crisis is a profoundly important issue. After a series of parliamentary votes, we now know with some certainty how our politicians feel about it. No party or individual who voted to end the eviction ban – without coherent strategies in place, and against the background of sustained and abject failure by successive governments in the housing arena – will be getting my vote at election time.

I suspect that many other voters will agree on this point. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 12.