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Lack of government action is contributing to spiralling rent – McDonald

9 June, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD has lambasted the government for contributing to the ever increasing housing crisis by their refusal to implement rent certainty and failure to supply adequate affordable or social housing.  

Speaking to Minister Bruton during Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy McDonald said:

“It is no secret that there is a crisis in housing. It is equally no secret that this is a government-made crisis. It’s no secret either that it took a considerable amount of time for the government to catch up and recognise the scale and the level of the crisis.

“The Private Residential Tenancy Board have confirmed that the cost of renting continues to spiral out of control. At the end of May the average cost of renting a home in Dublin was €1,454 per month. That's €17,500 a year.  This is higher than the highest point reached in 2007.

“Outside Dublin, while rents are below the 2007 peak, they are still rising. These rents are scandalous.

“Because of the failure of previous Governments to ensure an adequate supply of social and affordable housing more and more people find themselves reliant and indeed trapped in the private rental sector.

“So how is a low income family expected to keep pace with these rents? How are working families expected to pay these rents and save for a deposit on their own home at the same time?

“A report from the Homeless Agency has shown that spiralling rents are one of the principle causes of family homelessness. There are scores of families who will tonight sleep in emergency accommodation for no other reason than they could not afford the cost of renting.

“The Government set its face against rent certainty. It refused to links rents to the consumer price index. Instead it introduced measures that not only have not worked, in fact they’ve made matters worse.

“Minister will your Government include rent certainty in its Action Plan on Housing to be published in August? And will the Government ensure increases rent supplement and housing assistance payments to ensure that no family is made homeless because of inability to pay rents?”

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