Govt cost rental targets must be increased

13 January 2022

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said the report published by the Parliamentary Budget Office proves its time for the Minister to act and amend the cost rental targets in the Housing for All plan.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It’s time for Minister O’Brien to step up and take account of the reality of the housing market. The report published today further showcases the burden experienced by renters in a market that is out of control. Renters are being squeezed, paying above the odds for housing when their wages have not kept pace.

“Housing for All must be adapted and moulded to make change in the current context. We need to increase the amount of cost rentals that are available on the market to deliver affordable rental homes. The current target of 2,000 per year is already too low, and we didn’t meet that last year.

“Even with the ultimate target of building 18,000 cost rental properties, this will cover just 5% of private renters by 2030. The government needs to readjust its targets to take account of the reality of what is needed.

“The whole purpose of an affordable rental model is to target lower-income renters, protecting them and ensuring they have a roof over their head in a crazy rental market. We need a cultural shift around renting and that starts with proper policy planning to ensure there is affordable supply for renters.

“In the context of a market with unprecedented scarcity, I am also reiterating Labour’s call to government to increase renters’ rights and put some power back in their hands. As part of this, government must ask that the BTR standards be reviewed to including balconies and facilities for more long-term living.

“Increasing our cost rental targets will be fundamental in tackling the affordability crisis and making things better for renters in Ireland.”

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