Dearth of supply crippling people at risk in the housing market

10 August 2022
  • Time for a rent freeze
  • Authorities must enforce rental caps
  • Eviction ban must be put in place

Responding to the latest housing report published by Daft.ie, Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan said specific protections must be put in place for renters who continue to experience the harsh end of the housing market.

With record breaking rates charged for rent, Senator Moynihan said a systems change is needed to support renters.

Senator Moynihan said:

“As exemplified in today’s report, renters are essentially left stranded by this Government. It’s simply staggering to read that rents are up 12.6% on average than this time last year. Current policies do not go far enough to help renters, the statistics don’t lie. The failed policies of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have not worked and are not working. We totally lag behind other countries on renters’ rights and renters are just expected to put up with it without any meaningful intervention from government in a rental market that is overcooked.

“What is needed is a step change from the current approach. We need government to think bigger for those struggling most in the housing market. We have consistently called for a rent freeze – it’s the only option available to help struggling renters until more homes come into supply. We know we can have an effective rent freeze, because Alan Kelly introduced this very measure for two years in 2015. It has been done before and can be done again, it’s just a matter of political will.

“Due to the dearth of supply, affordability remains the key issue for renters. Long-term, we need much more social housing built at scale, but short-term we need to revise the basic HAP limits, this time with an actual reference for what the current market rate is, as they are clearly not reflecting the outrageous rents charged.

“Landlords continue to hold all the cards, charging at will with little to no transparency. We need to see beefed up enforcement of the rental caps put in place to avoid extraordinary inflation like we are seeing in Daft.ie’s report, as well as implanting a private residential tenancies register for any rental home so people can see the rents paid by previous tenants. None of this is rocket science.

“Evictions continue to loom ominously over many renters, my office and those of my colleagues have been inundated with queries from renters who are petrified that they will be removed from their home through no fault of their own. The figures published by the Residential Tenancies Board this week show that termination notices rose by 58% in the first half of this year. Unfortunately, this is also seen in the number of people entering homelessness from the private rental market each month.

“To counteract this, we need to see an emergency eviction ban, like that introduced during the pandemic. We need to protect renters to stay in their home. This temporary measure would put renters at ease that they will not be kicked out of their homes while we await the delivery of the homes promised in Housing for All.

“When it comes to the housing market, it feels like the word crisis has lost all meaning. We are well beyond crisis and enough is enough.”

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