Renters need inflation busting relief

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
02 June 2022
  • HAP limits need urgent change
  • Income limits to qualify for social housing need revision
  • Rent freeze needed

Responding to figures published by the CSO today, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has called for a range of targeted measures to support renters exposed to the sharp end of inflation.

Senator Moynihan said with rents rising by almost 12% in the last year, as well as the cost of food, transport and bills soaring, time-limited and targeted measures must be introduced to support renters and protect those at risk of entering homelessness.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Inflation is affecting everyone in this country but many renters are experiencing the blunt end of the increased cost of living. On top of the cost of every day essentials rising, rents continue to soar, while people’s take home pay simply isn’t keeping pace.

“To combat this, Labour is calling for a three year rent freeze to stop already unaffordable rents rising even higher. Doing so would give the market to catch up with the supply crisis. Government must commit to increasing the current targets for cost rental properties to give people peace of mind that there will be social and affordable homes available.

“It’s beyond crisis point for many renters at this stage. The cost of renting in our cities is unbelievable, but we continue to see rents rise nationwide. In recognition of this, I am calling on government to make the whole country a Rent Pressure Zone. Extortionate rents are pushing people to breaking point. We need to change the dynamic in the market to reflect the extraordinary inflation.

“In addition to revising the HAP scheme to reflect the rising cost of living, we also must revisit the income limits to qualify for social housing. It’s clear that there are a number of renters on low incomes who aren’t receiving social supports. These are groups of people for whom housing affordability is deeply challenging. We need to see action, including the implementation of the Income Eligibility Scheme as promised in the government’s Housing for All plan.

“Targeted measures are urgently needed to protect renters. Inflation will lock many renters into a poverty trap. Coupled with Ireland’s low pay culture, there is no doubt that more and more people in the private rental market will become at risk of homelessness unless inflation busting measures are implemented to protect them.”

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