mass evictions just add to the housing crisis. extend the ban and end all the misery
James O'Toole writes about his eviction from Tathony House & why we need to fight all evictions.
I'm being evicted from my home of the past 14 years. My whole block is being evicted, all 35 flats.

When you get an eviction notice you can't sleep because you don't know where you'll end up.
35 families in my block are facing that fear head on. And we are not alone, tenants at 94 to 96 Rathmines Road in Dublin are also facing a mass eviction.

There's over 11,000 people homeless and rents are sky high. You go on social media and all you see is massive queues of people outside overpriced flats.

I work as a community worker providing vital support to vulnerable people on a welfare rights phone line. Most places are beyond my reach but even the full-time workers here at Tathony House will find it hard to find somewhere.

We have construction workers, hospital workers and shop workers among those living here. We don't deserve to live through the nightmare of losing a roof over our heads. We are the people who work in this city. But we can no longer afford to live here.

The government claim that they "can't build houses overnight" - but they could extend the eviction ban overnight. Housing charity Threshold say 1,800 eviction notices have been served. Many of those people are heading straight into the homeless figures.

Father Peter McVerry has called for the eviction ban to be extended to 2 or 3 years to bring homeless figures down. We agree with him and want to support his call. But we should go further.
In 14 other European countries you can't evict tenants just to sell up. It's against the law. The landlord can sell but has to sell with tenants in the building. We need similar legislation here to get rid of "no fault" evictions.

The Tyrellstown clause was supposed to ban mass eviction but typically the government put in a loophole for landlords where they can evict more than 10 at once if the claim "hardship". Hardship? Making tens of thousands of Euros in rent roll isn't "hardship!"

I've paid way over €100,000 in rent but get no security in return. So many working-class people are in the same boat as us. But our insecurity is no accident.

This government and the ones before it have turned housing into a commodity. They intentionally stopped building public housing forcing us into the hands of privateers who make a killing from our suffering. They delivered a captive market for private landlords who profit from a basic need - housing.
As long as housing is seen as a commodity and not as a human right, we will return to the same crisis over and over.

The establishment of a state construction company and mass building of public estates would help everyone.

Even if you never intend to live in public housing, the increased supply would bring down private prices as well as rents and take the pressure off everybody.

But the system we live under, capitalism, is run in the interests of the bosses, vultures and landlords. They only care about the balance sheet. They don't give a damn if kids can't sleep at night for fear of losing a roof over their head.

It's heart breaking to think about the 3,000 kids already homeless and the trauma being inflicted on them by a cruel and indifferent establishment. But if we do nothing more will be added to those numbers.

That's why I'm calling on everyone facing eviction to stand up, to fight back and to join Tathony House and Rathmines residents as we protest next week.

We will be outside Dublin City Council calling for them to step in and buy blocks to prevent mass evictions. At 1pm Saturday Feb 4th outside Dublin City Council offices on Wood Quay in Dublin we are protesting alongside tenants of 94 to 96 Rathmines along with Fr. Peter McVerry.

Then we are marching to the Department of Housing down the river Liffey to say extend the eviction ban now! They could sign off on extending the eviction ban and pause rising homelessness with the stroke of a pen.

This fight is your fight. We are all being hammered by the housing crisis in one way or another. I decided to organise my neighbours and fight back because I'm a socialist and we are just working-class people who want a different kind of society, one where working-class people come before the private wealth of landlords, developers and vultures.

If you agree join me in the Red Network of People Before Profit. Let's help each other to fight this system. Use our contact page to get in touch and find out more about becoming a member of our Red Network.
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