Ban Traveller Evictions – not fair to families with nowhere to go

Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre is calling on Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD to intervene and ban Traveller evictions until the Traveller accommodation crisis is over.

Today (Jan 11th 2019) five families including 28 children face eviction from an old school site in Balgaddy, Clondalkin where they have been living since last year. The families agreed to move by today – but there is nowhere else for them to go.

Meanwhile an independent review of Traveller accommodation law is currently underway through the Department of Housing and due to be published in April.

 “Twenty  years of failed accommodation policies has resulted in this crisis for Travellers.  There has been an underspend of €55 million on Traveller accommodation since 2000. In this context, evictions are inhumane,” said Pavee Point Co Director Martin Collins.

  “Ongoing evictions by local authorities and other public landowners is causing Travellers unnecessary hardship and suffering,” said Martin Collins, Pavee Point Director.

“The Minister has a humanitarian responsibility here to intervene. Travellers who make up just 1% of the overall population make up 9% of the homeless population. We know the current Traveller accommodation framework is not working.

“Evictions get us nowhere and Travellers feel like they are being persecuted for simply trying to survive.  It is not fair to punish individual Traveller families, who are just trying to survive, for the failures of the State and general society overall.”

The Oireachtas Housing Committee on Housing and Homelessness recommended a ban on Traveller evictions back in 2016. “No Travellers should be evicted from a Traveller specific site until alternative accommodation is provided,” the report said.

In June 2015 six international organisations also called for a ban on Traveller evictions and highlighted the human cost of evictions.  “Local authorities need to find sustainable solutions to the housing or accommodation problems many Roma and Travellers face, and avoid evictions” the statement said.