Councillor brands Waterford Council as ‘Evictor in Chief’
A Fianna Faill councillor has branded Waterford City and County Council as ‘Evictor in Chief’, claiming that it has begun the process of putting tenants out of their homes.
Cllr Eamon Quinlan told a plenary meeting that the council’s housing department had recently cut off housing assistance payments (HAP) to private landlords and was therefore effectively starting the process of evicting families.
“The surprise of my fellow councillors was palpable,” Cllr Quinlan said after the meeting.
“I have been contacted recently by families that are living in sub standard accommodation through the HAP scheme and instead of having the council intervene to protect them and pursue the landlord to bring the property up to code.
“Instead, they received letters telling them that the HAP had been unilaterally cancelled by the council.
“That they are now in arrears with their landlord and that they have to find alternative accommodation.
“This of course is a massive out of the blue shock to families; they are left scrambling trying to get a new house within literally a week or two before the landlords kick them out because from the landlord’s point of view, the council have suddenly cancelled the contract and they now have non paying tenants.”
According to a statement from Cllr Quinlan, Director of Services for housing, Ivan Grimes, confirmed at the council meeting that “this policy was underway and was applicable to the whole county”.