Rental Strategy must be ambitious – Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Eoin Ó Broin has called on Minister Simon Coveney to be ambitious with his department’s strategy for the private rented sector.
Speaking this morning at a stakeholder event on rental sector organised by the Department of Housing in the Morrison Hotel Dublin Deputy Ó Broin said;
“The private rented sector is completely dysfunctional. It is bad for tenants and bad for most landlords. The government’s decision to produce a long term strategy for the rental strategy is welcome though long overdue.
"If the minister is serious about reforming this sector he needs to provide a long term vision as well as immediate reforms that work for both landlords and tenants.
“At this morning’s stakeholder meeting organised by the Department of Housing, I urged the minister to include in his strategy rent certainty, security of tenure, measures to professionalise the landlord sector and reforms of the tax treatment of landlords.
"The most urgent step the minister must take is legislation providing for rent certainty. The spiralling cost of rents is pushing families into poverty and in many cases homelessness. It is also bad for the economy driving wage inflation and putting off potential investment.
“In the longer term we need to grow the rental sector. This can be achieved by tackling the issue of vacant homes, increasing the supply of new builds and reducing demand on the existing stock by increasing the supply of social housing.
"With up to 100,000 families living in state subsidised private rental accommodation, providing these families with real social housing frees up rental units thus dampening prices and demand.
“Unfortunately government policy to create 80,000 new Housing Assistance Payment tenancies, including all those currently on Rent Supplement, by 2021 runs contrary to what must become a key plank of government policy.
"Sinn Féin will make a written submission to the Department of Housing on its strategy for the rental sector. The minister has an enormous opportunity to put the rental sector on the right track. To do this he will have to be bold and take decisions that his party has traditionally refused to consider."