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Housing crisis will not be solved by familiar Government rhetoric – Ellis

14 June, 2016 - by Dessie Ellis TD


Sinn Féin TD and junior spokesperson for Housing Dessie Ellis has said that there is a need to build more social houses which in itself will bring down rental prices, while also examining the area of rent supplement to ensure rents demanded by landlords do not rise in tandem with an increase in the rent cap.

The Dublin North West TD said:

“For many years now we’ve had a haemorrhage of people and families from Rent Supplement, RAS and the private rental market to homelessness. Recent legislation by the last government has not stemmed this flow.

“The introduction of rules preventing landlords raising rents for 2 years and putting a moratorium of two years before another rise would be considered didn’t go anywhere near what was required.

“The private rented sector is actively contributing negatively to the housing and homelessness crisis. Last April, of the 6000 homeless people in the country, 2000 of those were children, and most of them were previously living in the Private Rented Sector and are now in hotels and B&Bs.

“Rent supplement, which was meant originally to be a temporary measure, has been subsumed in HAP. It is only one part of the solution and if increased, it should be with a view to a long term solution, involving an introduction of rent regulations and capping of rent subsidies to ensure rents demanded by landlords do not rise in tandem with an increase in the rent cap.

“To give these families a chance, a change in rent supplement needs to be made.  That is why we must look beyond the private sector and towards Government and council intervention to provide the long term solution to this crisis. We need to build more social houses which in itself will bring down rental prices. 

“The introduction of rent certainty would allow for rent increases or decreases in line with inflation and tied to the consumer price index. Minister we need to build and acquire more social housing to increase the stock and this Bill here tonight will help.” 

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