Tánaiste to investigate claim of threat to council tenants who fail to pay water charge

Tánaiste to investigate claim of threat to council tenants who fail to pay water charge

The Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she is investigating claims that people in council houses could be evicted for not paying water charges.

Wicklow County Council has told households on its Rental Accommodation Scheme that they could be kicked out for not paying the charges.

Ms Burton says she has not seen the letter, but she is asking officials to investigate the claims.

The claim was made by Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil today.

Ms McDonald said tenants on the rental accommodation scheme (RAS), which covers 3,600 families and is administered by the Department of the Environment, got the letter.

Ms McDonald said: "So now do we not alone have a threat to the supply of water, potential court action, we discover that the very roof over people’s heads may be in jeopardy.

"I want you to make it clear to those families and to local authority tenants that nobody will be evicted because they cannot pay the water charges."

However, Ms Burton says she would be surprised if a family was evicted from council housing for falling behind on their bills.

She said: "Certainly, it would be relatively unusual, certainly in the Dublin councils for someone, for example, to be evicted because ofrent arrears.

"Normally there would be an attempt to work out an arrangement with the family."


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