Cost rental prices must be reduced

Senator Mark Wall
28 April 2023

Labour Senator and Oireachtas Housing Committee member Mark Wall has urged Government to reduce the prices of cost-rental homes.

Senator Wall said that many of these homes are currently rented at €1,500 a month which is entirely unaffordable for most working people.

Senator Wall said:

“I am urging Minister O’Brien to commit to investigating the cost of renting cost-rental homes. Speaking in the Oireachtas Housing Committee this week, the Minister indicated that he would be open to investigating a reduction in fees, but it is unclear if such a reduction would be applied for new as well as existing cost-rental renters.

“Locally in Newbridge, I’m aware of a worker who is availing of cost rental accommodation but being charged a monthly rent of €1,375. This is simply out of his reach and unless it’s addressed he will face the real prospect of homelessness. With a record breaking 11,988 people now living in homelessness, we need to see ambition and urgency from this Government to support those in housing insecurity.

“We in the Labour Party firmly believe that the State should be the lead provider of housing. We need to see Government scale up the measures in Housing for All with a particular focus on the cost rental model. Cost-rental was intended to be a long-term, secure option for people. But with skyrocketing rents for people, it’s simply unaffordable and pushing more people in to housing insecurity.

“The most glaring example of inequality in Ireland today is that of the housing and homelessness crisis, and despite the spin and bluster from Government this week, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party are still failing to deliver adequate affordable and social housing. Supply is a key issue. As we anticipate record breaking levels of homelessness as a result of lifting the eviction ban, we know there are huge pressures on renters across the country to pay rents when wages simply haven’t kept pace.

“The housing crisis is the crisis issue of this generation. It is a basic human need, not something optional. It is costing people socially, economically and emotionally. A market approach to housing will inevitably fail, as it has failed in Ireland and elsewhere, again and again. Cost rental should be an affordable option for people but it looks doomed to fail unless the Minister commits to a reduction in rents.”

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