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Ireland socially and economically is being held to ransom again by a housing crisis – Tóibín

15 March, 2016

Sinn Féin's Peadar Tóibín TD has highlighted the difficulties families face arising from the shocking increases in rent in Irish properties as well as the potentially devastating effects for thousands of Irish children at increased risk of homelessness.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“The average rent in Dublin is €1,431 for a house and €1,313 for an apartment. This is 0.4% higher than peak Celtic Tiger levels. A person on the minimum wage living in Dublin working 40 hours a week will earn €1,586 a month. That means for thousands of families in the Dublin area on the minimum wage the average house rent is 90% of their pre-tax wage.

“For someone on the average monthly wage of €2,980 living in Dublin the average rent for a house in Dublin will swallow up 48% of their pre-tax wage. This is up from 43% last year. In real terms this is a 5% reduction in their disposable income in one year. This is an astounding erosion of families’ ability to provide for themselves.

"These rent increases along with increases in the prices of houses are creating a humanitarian crisis. Fr McVerry has estimated that there will be 3,000 children official homeless this time next year.

“These increases and their associated lack of housing supply are also the genesis of an economic crisis. Any family that is spending nearly 50% of its income on rent will be forced to seek a pay increase. These pay increases will have no net benefit to families as they will be further swallowed up by unproductive rent. If these increases persist they will erode competitive advantages and increase industrial unrest.    

“In September of last year, Paypal’s Louise Phelan warned that Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland is under threat, as a key component of their decision making process which is housing supply, dries up. Indeed Paypal themselves sought existing staff to provide a spare room for new staff in the future.

“Ireland both socially and economically is being held to ransom again by a housing crisis. Sinn Féin has identified the necessary funds for the building of 35,000 houses over the next five years. At this time of housing crisis that Leinster Houses is in hiatus shows the shocking disconnect at the heart of our political establishment.”     

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