I am delighted to have a brief opportunity to speak about this important Bill. It is long overdue. It is probably about 30 or 35 years overdue and it certainly does not go remotely far enough to vindicate tenants’ rights and create a fair rental market in this country but even the small steps in this Bill are welcome as an attempt to begin to remedy the worst deficiencies in tenancy law and to face up to the horrendous circumstances of many tenants.
Deputy Broughan has welcomed news that Dublin Simon will be running local weekly information clinics for tenants living in private rented accommodation who may be at risk of losing their tenancies. With the housing and rental crisis continuing to spiral out of control, very high numbers of worried constituents are in contact with Deputy Broughan every week. One of the issues has been the lack of information available to people until the day they are actually made homeless and it is a very distressing and confusing time for people. While Threshold have recently run an information campaign around tenant’s rights, Deputy Broughan welcomes this localised service which will hopefully provide some solace to people in difficult circumstances.
While I welcome the sentiments behind Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin’s announcement yesterday that the Government is planning to bring in amendments to the Employment Equality (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, it simply will not deal with the current housing and rental crisis.