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Morgan calls for index linking of rent to control increases

4 June, 2003

Speaking following the publication of the Residential Tenancies Bill, Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan criticised Minister Martin Cullen for his failure to address rent regulation in the Bill.

Deputy Morgan said

"Tenants throughout this State have waited a long time for the Residential Tenancies Bill. And while I welcome the fact that the Bill has now been published it is clear from even an initial reading that it fails to address a number of key issues of concern to tenants in private rented accommodation. The failure to address rent regulation and issues regarding affordability will seriously undermine the security of tenure provisions contained in this Bill. Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the provision in this Bill that says rents applicable in the private rented sector should be solely dictated by the market. Rent increases should be index linked and not market driven where demand far exceeds supply.

"The Government needs to starting looking at the issue of housing in a completely different light. It can no longer be looked at in simply market or economic terms. We have to look at and address it in social terms. We need to face the reality that very many people are excluded from either renting or buying reasonable quality affordable housing because successive Government policies have pushed house prices through the roof, making multi-millionaires of greedy speculators and developers at the expensive of ordinary people.

"In the absence of measures to address rent regulation, I do not believe that this Residential Tenancies Bill will bring about a significant improvement in the situation of tenants." ENDS

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