Rent certainty needed to stop rent hikes pushing people into homelessness

May 9, 2017

Social Democrat co-leader Catherine Murphy is calling on the Minister for Housing to introduce rent certainty, as figures published this morning show rents rising at alarming levels across the state.

Today’s report by finds that rents nationwide rose by an average of 13.4% between January and March 2017 – the second-highest increase on record.

Deputy Murphy said: “These figures for the first quarter of the year are alarming. The average monthly rent in the country is now €1,131, but in parts of Dublin city and county it is as much as €1,868. In Dublin rents are now 15.4% above their Celtic tiger years’ peak in early 2008.

“The situation is little better in other cities, with rents in Cork rising 9.7% above 2008 levels, while in Galway the increase is 17.8% above levels recorded nine years ago.  In three of the counties closest to Dublin – Meath, Kildare and Louth – rents have increased by more than 60% since 2012.

“I am deeply concerned that today’s report finds that the ‘rent pressure zone’ system introduced by the government may well be making things worse rather than better. A survey carried out as part of the report shows that sitting tenants in the pressure zones are paying less rent than new renters because they are somewhat protected. Meanwhile, people moving homes or renting for the first time are facing far higher rents and stunted supply.

“Instead of solving problems, we are now seeing evidence that official government policy is heaping more pressure on struggling renters by creating a two-tier system between sitting tenants and people moving in the rental market.”

Deputy Murphy added: “This government has repeatedly failed renters and the continuing rising rents and critical lack of supply are driving people into homelessness. The Minister for Housing Simon Coveney needs to urgently bring in rent certainty for all. This could be achieved by linking rents to the Consumer Price Index until there is sufficient housing available to drive down rents for new renters and sitting tenants alike.”