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The choice is to control rents or to increase homelessness – Ellis

30 March, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said the government face a choice between the introduction of fair regulations to tackle the rising rents or future increases in homelessness due to prices spiraling further out of reach of low and middle earners. 

He made his statement after calls were made to increase rent supplement levels by some housing groups in response to reports of continuing increases in rent levels in the capital and across the state.

Deputy Ellis said:

“The government must decide whose side they are on. Is it the side of those who would evict a family who cannot afford yet another rent rise or the unemployed families and low earners who are struggling to keep a roof over their head. The choice is that simple, it is between fair controls on rent levels or more homelessness. On a social and economic level we cannot afford to allow homelessness to increase.”

“Rents have been going up since this government as there is too few houses available and very high demand. Rents are out of control, especially in Dublin and putting people at risk of homelessness.”

“Sinn Féin supports fair rent controls. This will not solve the problem and is needed as part of a package of initiatives to help to ease the housing crisis. Renters who are now facing homelessness cannot wait for more social housing to come on stream and so rent control is needed as a matter of priority.”

“People have already lost their homes because of rent increases. We need to stop this from happening in the future.”

“The state needs to step in to stop rack renting and to ensure that rents are set at a fair level which takes into account the Consumer Price Index and the quality of the accommodation. Along with significant investment in housing as outlined by Sinn Féin during recent debates in the Dáil we can begin to really tackle housing need and bring rents under control.”

“We do not believe that raising the rent supplement will solve the problem and in fact it could very easily have the opposite effect of raising rents across the board. Groups like Simon and Peter McVerry Trust are genuine in their intention to stop the flow of tenants into homelessness but we believe rent controls are the fastest and most effective way to do this.”

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