Rent increase shows need for extension of freeze on rents and evictions

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
09 June 2020
  • Young people still being gouged for the price of a home.
  • Extended freeze on rents and evictions needed now.

With rents recording a 0.6% increase in May according to a Daft report, and Dublin labelled as the most expensive city to move to in the Eurozone, Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan has said there is a need now to extend the freeze on rents and ban on evictions that expire later in June, reiterating the Labour Party view that these policy measures must be left in place until there is a sustained increase in supply of housing leading to consistent falls in rents.

Senator Moynihan said:

“The Daft report shows that rent increases have started again after price drops in March and April. That the cost of shelter has started to rise already despite hundreds of thousands being unemployed shows the need for continued freezing of rents.

“The increase in rents also came despite a 40% increase in listings in the Dublin area, and despite the impact of Covid-19, rents are still up on this time last year. We know that there has also been an influx of properties into the marke tdue to the collapse in the short term ‘Airbnb’ letting market that had removed thousands of units from young renters.

“The freeze on rents and ban on evictions was only introduced for three months, and will expire later in June. The Labour Party wants these measures extended until sufficient supply of homes are available so that rental prices drop. The levels of rent being paid are unacceptable and unsustainable. Young people are being gouged

“Despite being told by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that a rent freeze would be unconstitutional we have seen that it was implemented without delay when Covid-19 came, but not when young people in our cities were being charged record rents for a roof over their head. The average monthly rent in Dublin is €2021 according to the report, which is over €600 more than a person on the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment received.

“A further report today showed Dublin is the most expensive city in the Eurozone to move to, principally due to the cost of rent. Young people have been hit hardest by unemployment due to Covid-19 and the most likely to be renting, and moving to our cities. They need a break, and some certainty on rents.

“The government being negotiated as we speak must address the housing crisis, and implement an extended rent freeze and ban on evictions as we have argued for. There also must be a pledge to build public homes on public land breaking once and for all the dominance of the failed private housing market.”

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