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Controls needed to stop Dublin homeless crisis - Ellis

15 December, 2014 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has joined with his colleagues on Dublin City Council, to call for urgent moves to introduce rent control in the city and across the state, to curb the flow of private renters into homelessness.

He made his call in response to statements by a number of Labour TD's in support of this idea, an idea which Sinn Féin has been calling for over the last three years.

Deputy Ellis said:

"This is not a new policy for Sinn Féin; we have always believed that something as important as housing could not be left purely to the private market - regulation and fairness was needed. We have been particularly vocal in the last three years on this issue because many Dublin tenants have seen their rent go up well beyond their ability to afford it. In the last three years it has risen by just under 40%.

“I welcome statements by Labour TD's, Senators and Councillors in recent weeks and months which support this call. These people need to bring pressure on their party to push for Rent Control at cabinet level. The longer we wait the more people will be forced into homelessness due to unaffordable rates.

“My colleagues on Dublin City Council Housing SPC, councillors Críona Ní Dhalaigh and Daithí Doolan, have been to the fore in raising the need for measures to protect tenants and stop the increase in homelessness in the city.

“We utterly reject claims by Minister Joan Burton that rent controls are not viable. The policy is supported by experts in housing and homelessness like Simon Community, Focus Ireland, Peter McVerry and Threshold. She cannot hide behind flimsy, limited and outdated constitutional rulings which bare no relevance in the debate today.

“Rent controls can help to keep people in their homes and in conjunction with a major social house building project in Dublin, we can begin to turn back the tide on the housing crisis and rising homelessness."

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