The Rural Independent TD Grouping is making it’s support for the Government in this week’s vote on a Sinn Fein Motion to restore the ban on eviction and a proposed No Confidence Vote next week dependent on the Government’s response to it’s demands on housing policy. The Government majority is down to one vote unless it can garner support from FG/FF TDs that have resigned the party whip and independents such as Tipperary’s Michael Lowry. The vote will be taken tomorrow evening on the Sinn Fein motion.
The Government is to put forward a counter motion after today’s cabinet meeting. The Government motion is expected to include details of the measures already under way to assist the rental sector and further actions to prevent homelessness. Members of the Regional Independent Group are making 8 specific demands of the Government with a May 1st implementation date for 6 of their proposals.These include a tax relief scheme for small landlords; expanding the amount of funding given in the Croi Conatihe scheme and that it will in future include rental properties and properties built up to 2007. The Rural Independents also seek an expansion of the Rent a Room scheme so that people on social welfare do not lose supplementary benefits such as medical cards if they participate, and a guaranteeing of HAP payments to landlords where the tenant defaults, the removal of barriers to older people in long term nursing home care who wish to lease out their homes and that the State will use the Affordable Housing Scheme to help developers with planning permission under the Strategic Infrastructure Development process to commence construction.