Legislation planned to protect long-term renters from eviction

New legislation is planned to prevent landlords from evicting long-term tenants without a clear reason.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy says it is government policy to introduce tenancies of "indefinite duration" in legislation later this year.

"Currently, a landlord can evict a tenant after six years without a reason, but the Minister says that will change," said Minister Murphy writing in today's Irish Independent.

He acknowledge that the situation is an emergency but said that "declaring it one does not mean we can just suspend our laws or the Constitution".

Mr Murphy said that Fine Gael "know that many people, young and old, are in an incredibly difficult situation".

Father Peter McVerry from the Peter McVerry Trust has described the housing situation as morphing from "a crisis to catastrophe".

He welcomed the Housing Minister's statements but said that it doesn't go far enough.

What the government are doing is tweaking the current system - they are increasing the height of apartments, they are reducing car parking space needed, they are reducing the size of apartments.

"They are tweaking the system and we need far, far more than tweaking," said Fr McVerry.

Meanwhile, a rally supporting the Raise the Roof initiative will take place in Dublin later today, calling for action on the housing crisis.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is urging members to back the protest, which starts at Parnell Square at 1pm.

ICTU General Secretary, Patricia King says the Government has failed to solve the problem.

"The basic aim of this rally is to continue our campaign to have the current government policy in relation to housing reversed," said Ms King.

"It is a failed policy and from our point of view, we have had a number of demonstrations since last October and we really want to see a much stronger approach in terms of the building of social and affordable housing."

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