Delayed tenant purchase rights panacea will not protect vulnerable renters

Ivana Bacik TD
22 November 2023

Reacting to the leaked draft of the Government’s legislative panacea plan to protect renters, Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik said the delayed measure will not help the majority of renters.

Deputy Bacik said:

“This measure was announced back in March following the announcement of the lifting of the eviction ban – yet apparently it won’t even come into force until next year. This long delay is yet another blow to renters.

“Renters’ key concerns are instability, insecurity and the utter unaffordability in the rental market. Many renters have aspirations to purchase a home of their own, but renting may suit many others for a variety of reasons.

“So the Government should have by now enacted Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill which would have given renters some rights back. The Bill would tackle affordability, provide security, introduce a transparency register for renters and also modernise Ireland’s archaic rental regulations.

“I note that Government have failed to provide projections or estimations on the number of renters they estimate will even be able to avail of this new legislative proposal for renters to have a right to buy where the landlord is selling their home.

“Renters are paying over €3,500 more per annum than mortgage holders, rising to €8,359 more in Dublin City Centre. The reality is that most renters simply don’t have the financial bandwidth both to pay their rent and save for a mortgage.

“Government must stop this scattergun approach to housing and take an evidence based approach. Renters and those struggling as a result of the housing crisis don’t want token policy announcements, they want real change.

“Supply and affordability continue to push people to the brink in the housing market. The first refusal scheme may help safeguard some renters against the brutal bidding war that is now taking place in the housing market, but without any meaningful analysis from Government as to where renters are at financially, it represents yet another spin over substance policy announcement.”

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