ESRI report points to need for time-limited targeted measures for rental market

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
12 April 2022
  • Labour committed to three year rent freeze
  • Time for entire country to be declared RPZ for limited period
  • Govt must increase cost rental supply

Responding to the ESRI report published this morning, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has called for a series of time limited rent stabilisations and controls to ease the rental crisis.

Senator Moynihan said:

“As inflation soars, rents are now totally outstripping wages more people now at risk of homelessness, hanging on by a thread in the private rental market.

“The ESRI’s report shows that targeted and time limited measures must be introduced so that renters can have some hope of living a decent life, not merely working to get by.

“Labour is this morning reiterating calls for every county in the country to be a Rent Pressure Zone for a limited period of time while supply catches up with demand. The reality is that rent prices are increasing everywhere, even if they are outside of protected zones. It is also imperative that the Residential Tenancies Board are given more resources to better investigate cases where there are breaches of the RPZ rules.

“A Daft report from earlier this year highlighted widespread breaking of RPZ rules yet there is no mechanism in place to confront landlords who are exploiting the system. Only 29 people were sanctioned for such practices last year, yet every single county has places where people are breaking rental caps.

“It’s clear that a rent freeze is also needed to help struggling renters until more homes come into supply. A three year rent freeze would represent a time limited, targeted policy measure that could be effective in taking the heat out of a market out of control.

“The market extremes have locked out an entire generation of people from home ownership. We in the Labour Party firmly believe that the State should be the lead provider of housing. This report once again highlights the issues that a lack of supply is causing. We need to see government scale up the measures in Housing for All with a particular focus on the cost rental model.

“The reality is that landlords still hold all the cards. If Minister O’Brien is serious about levelling the playing field between renters and landlords, he would act on these targeted measures that would improve the lives of many.”

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