LABOUR HOUSING BILL ZONES IN ON SOARING RENTS
Labour spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, Jan O’Sullivan, will today introduce legislation to the Dáil, aimed at tackling the serious shortage in housing supply in Ireland and ensuring a stable and functioning housing market.
The Social and Affordable Housing Bill 2016 includes measures to address key issues including affordability and supply, soaring rents and tenants’ rights, the hoarding of land by developers, as well as clamping down on the super profits of unregulated vulture funds operating here.
Speaking ahead of the Bill’s introduction to the Dáil, Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“I am delighted to bring this Bill before my Dáil colleagues today, which contains a set of concrete measures to deal with the housing and homelessness crisis, and in particular the issue of spiralling rent.
“Just last week, figures from property website Daft.ie revealed how residential rents have soared across the country by 11.7 per cent year-on-year, in the third quarter of the year.
“This puts enormous pressure on renters and sadly as we’ve been seeing, is driving more and more people out of their homes and onto the streets.
“The Labour Party Bill would link rent to the consumer price index to ensure that rent increases remain affordable and related directly to the general cost of living.
“It also moves to further protect renters by prohibiting landlords from using the sale of the property as grounds for evicting tenants before their lease is up. There is considerable evidence that many of these homes remain vacant for years after being put up for sale.
“Another measure in this proposed legislation moves to end the all too common practice of the hoarding of lands by developers that could be used for housing, by allowing the land to be compulsory acquired at no more than 25 per cent over its current use value, as was recommended by the Kenny Report of 1973.
“It also brings forward the Vacant Site levy introduced by my colleague and former Environment Minister Alan Kelly by one year, from 2018 to 2017. The levy, which consists of a 3 per cent charge of the market value for unused land, would encourage land owners to make land available for building homes. At the moment, many of them are sitting on prime land until it becomes more profitable.
“The Bill also seeks to prevent vulture funds from continuing to make windfall profits in a recovering market, by compensating the fund for its acquisition costs and capping the return on its investments.”
Labour Party Press