Housing Minister must prioritise a package of support for renters

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
02 September 2020

The Housing Minister must prioritise a package of support for renters according to Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan.

Senator Moynihan was speaking after the release of the 2019 CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions.

Senator Moynihan said:

“The findings of this survey are stark in that the largest year-on-year increase in the enforced deprivation rate was amongst private renters, rising from 27.4% in 2018 to 34.4% in 2019. However, in the same time period, there was little change in the year-on-year deprivation rate of those living in owner-occupied accommodation.

“Given that this survey was carried out before the pandemic, the need for the Government to act is even more acute. These people are now more vulnerable than ever and the recent rise in evictions since the blanket ban was lifted is concerning and will invariably force more people into homelessness.

“The Minister and the Government need to provide more support and security for private renters especially in light of the public health situation. I am calling on Minister O’Brien to bring forward a comprehensive package for renters as part of Budget 2021 part of which should include maintaining the higher rate of rent supplement and he also needs to prioritise beefing up the Residential Tenancies Board to allow them to carry out inspections and protect renters at risk of eviction, and take action against landlords who may illegally evict tenants.

“The survey also found that those living in accommodation rented at below the market rate were more likely to be living in enforced deprivation than those living in accommodation rented at the market rate which further reinforces the need for the Minister to introduce a package of supports for renters.

“As part of our alternative budget Labour will introduce a fully costed package of significantly enhanced protections and supports for renters and the Government need to do the same. Private renters are very vulnerable, many are in insecure work and accommodation, and unless the Government steps in to protect them, we will be facing a winter of evictions combined with another wave of Covid-19.

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