Evictions are fuelling the rise of extremism

THE eviction of more than 20 families in Cork to facilitate refurbishment of apartments epitomises one strand of the unequal relationships at the root of our housing crisis.

The landlord, Lugus Capital, bought the 70-unit block in October and plans a €3m refit. The company cited work necessary to meet fire regulations as a reason to evict tenants, but the only reference to fire safety in eviction notices was the proposed replacement of fire doors. That task hardly seems so challenging as to require empty apartments. The imbalance between the difficulty of completing the proposed works and the consequences for tenants facing eviction
is obvious — especially if tenants can safely stay in their homes while the work is undertaken.

Some of these families may face homelessness, as alternative accommodation in the same rent bracket does not exist in that neighbourhood. Pressing housing demand is exacerbated by Airbnb lettings and a relentless demand for student accommodation. Stated in its coldest, free-market terms, in this instance our laws allow landlords to maximise their profits no matter what impact their actions have on tenants. Maybe that’s what Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, meant when he eulogised this “Republic of Opportunity”? In the absence of legislation to control this behaviour and protect compliant tenants, that seems a valid interpretation.

And we wonder why extreme politics are on the rise.


Lifestyle

Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner