Rental market continues to suck the soul out of Dublin

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
14 April 2021

Responding to the news that Dublin has retained its position as the fifth most expensive city in Europe for expats to rent in, Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called for a radical rethink of rental policy by the Government to protect young workers in particular. Coming in costlier than European cities like Rome, Berlin and Valencia, Senator Moynihan said we are at risk of losing the soul of our cities if ambitious actions aren’t taken by Government.

Senator Moynihan said:

“House prices and private rents continue to increase at a much faster rate than people’s take home pay, and many young people and workers are renting for more than they can really afford. Government policy continues to over-rely on the rental sector through HAP, but also through the incentivising of build-to-rent units which aren’t actually affordable for renters in the private rental market.

“The soul was sucked out of Dublin last March when many renters who could work remotely returned to their family homes throughout the country which should have been a wake up call to the Government that the rental sector is failing our future generations. If workers in tech industry, our young lawyers and accountants can’t afford renting in Dublin, it’s a fallacy to think that our essential frontline workers like carers, cleaners, Deliveroo drivers and taxi drivers would be able to rent indefinitely in Dublin.

“We need to entice those who left Dublin back, and make life easier for those who remained throughout the pandemic. The Government needs to urgently rethink it’s policy when it comes to renters. We need strong rent control legislation and find a solution to deflate the market. We need to incentivise the landlords who hold all the power to provide fair, affordable rent and long-term tenancies to break the cycle of precarious renting experienced by many. Crucially in this, it must be affordable for people of all backgrounds to rent, irrespective of their ability, age, class or ethnicity.

“Dublin is desperate for cost-rental public housing to provide a cost-rental model accessible to a range of people on different incomes, and there is European best practice in this regard. More than two-thirds of people living in Vienna rent publicly-provided housing (“cost-rental housing”) and this is a normal housing option right across Europe.

“This report today is so depressing for our young people of and in Dublin who have been hit hardest by unemployment due to the pandemic and are those most likely to be renting and moving to our cities. They need a break and some certainty on rents. They need a rental market that doesn’t swallow their wages and crush their spirit. They need a vision for living, not just surviving, in a vibrant city with a decent roof over their head.”

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