Nothing for at-risk renters in Budget 2016 – Ellis
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has criticised the government for failing to provide any measures to support private residential tenants who are struggling to pay soaring rents and at risk of homelessness. He was responding to details of Budget 2016 which included no move to regulate rent levels and increases or to provide additional support to Rent Supplement recipients.
Deputy Ellis said:
“Rent levels in Dublin have increased by at least 8% every year this government has been in office. This year, it has gone up by 9.2% alone. Across the state, rents are up 35% over the lifetime of this government term, outstripping the extortionate rates being charges during the Celtic tiger.
“This rent crisis is being caused by the wider housing crisis due to a woefully inadequate stock of social housing and affordable rental options on the private market. Landlords have saw the crisis as an opportunity to raise rents annually well in excess of inflation. These high rents, which are in more than 90% of cases well above rent supplement limits, have led to recipients of rent supplement losing their homes and moving into emergency accommodation.
“The human toll of the crisis is clear with over 1300 children sleeping in hotels and B&B's each night but still little has been done to stop the flow of tenants into homelessness. This is why rent regulation is needed and why rent supplement rates must be increased in line.
“Without an immediate increase in social housing and affordable rental properties, the only alternative to stem this flow into homelessness is to regulate rents and stop families from being evicted. Protecting existing tenants should be a priority.
“The government have pretended for nearly a year that they have planned to regulate rents with a rent certainty model, but this has not materialised. Without regulation, rents will continue to rise and emergency accommodation will continue to be required and in even greater numbers. The government announced a €17 million increase, but this will only match the gap in funding from last year in Dublin alone.
“It is not too late; the government must re-examine their position and act to regulate rents and protect families from homelessness.”