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No houses for families within rent supplement cap in Galway – Ó Clochartaigh

9 February, 2015

The government must intervene in the private rented housing crisis in Galway, according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh. As it stands today there are no three bedroom houses being advertised on popular property websites within the eligible rent supplement caps for families with two children or more.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Sinn Féin representatives are inundated with constituents who simply cannot find suitable housing for themselves and their families.

“It is clear from looking at property websites that there simply aren’t enough available properties within the rent supplement caps being imposed. This morning for example on there are no homes for families of two or more children available within the eligibility criteria. For a single person there are only three that would qualify, for a couple sharing a one-bed there are only four and there are only two houses for a couple, or lone parent with one child. This is at a time when an estimated 10,000 people are in need of social housing in Galway city alone.

“I welcome the fact that a small number of them have been given more flexibility on their rent allowance to ensure they don’t become homeless, but it is clear to me that this response is also totally inadequate to deal with the scale of the crisis.

“The government must introduce rent controls as soon as possible so that we don’t see a continued upward spiralling of rent costs which costs the Department of Social Welfare a fortune and also puts already hard pressed working families under even more pressure when rents increase. The measly allocation for social housing to local authorities won’t even scratch the surface of the problem.

“Surely the almost €300m being spent annually by the Department of Social Protection would be better spent building social housing units and getting people back to work?

“We have heard a lot of rhetoric from this government and their deputies about social housing over the last four years, but the reality for people on the ground that the situation is getting worse and worse and needs more urgent action from the government.”

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