Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are failing fast – rental market in chaos

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
22 November 2022

Responding to figures published by today, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said the 14% increase in rents year on year shows a housing market totally out of control.

Senator Moynihan said the record 4.3% increase in three months between June and September alone is deeply concerning.

As renters battle it out for a roof over their head, the Housing Minister is more concerned with spin and reheated political messages that any work of substance.

Senator Moynihan said:

“The phenomenal nationwide increase in rents is outrageous. Coupled with a 25% drop in availability of rental homes on the market, alarm bells must really begin to sound in Government Buildings – something is up.

“There has been an abject failure by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to address the rental crisis which is borne out by the statistics published by Daft. People have had six wasted years when it comes to housing policy, with the Government concerning themselves with the wants and needs of the big developers rather than the people who need a roof over their head.

“It’s simply staggering to see rents in Longford, Leitrim and Cavan increase by more than 20% this year, with people renting in all our cities asked to cough up at least an additional 10% on rent. This is in the context of fuel increases, the price of groceries skyrocketing, and wages simply not keeping pace.

“Over one year on, Housing For All has clearly failed and the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil policy of not increasing rental stock is backfiring dramatically. Government is behind on the majority of it’s self-prescribed targets, including cost-rental homes. The crisis we find ourselves in when it comes to the rental market demands a step change in policy approach with a renewed focus on the rental sector.

“The report published by Threshold in October shows that one in five households are renting now, compared with one in 10 in the 1990s. It’s clear that this trend towards renting will continue to increase and there must be targeted policy measures to ensure stock for those who need it.

“Renters are not transient, they are not just young. Renters are single households, families, older people. They must have access to affordable, quality accommodation with security of tenure. Yet, 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.

“As the analysis shows, we need government to commit to increase a broader stock of supply that includes suitable cost rental accommodation. As we wait for the supply to come on stream, renters need a rent freeze – it’s the only option available to help those struggling with the 14% annual increase expected of them. Rent freezes have been done before, and they can be done again.

“We know why this Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael government won’t step up to the mark and address the existing need and unmet demand. Up to now, they have focused on giving a cash hand out to developers with no state claw back or guarantee of affordability. It’s not working.

“Not everyone wants suburban living. The Daft report today is further evidence of the need to have a mix of housing supply nationwide, this must include apartments for rent and city living. There must be a holistic approach when it comes to housing.

“We expect the Housing Department to publish the October homelessness figures at the end of this week. Last month, figures showed the third highest levels of homelessness in Ireland in a row with almost 11,000 people failed by the State. When it comes to building homes, protecting people from extortionate rents, and safeguarding them from entering homelessness, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are failing fast.”

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