Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen TD says the measures announced in the Budget today will do nothing to relieve pressure on individuals and families trying to cope with out-of-control rents.
Deputy Cowen pointed out that the Government would not be introducing any new measures to address rising rents throughout the country.
“With latest figures showing a 9% increase in rents throughout the country and a massive 11% increase in Dublin since January, people in rented accommodation are struggling to meet persistently rising rents. Rents in Dublin could rise by as much as 20% next year due to Minister Alan Kelly’s failure to introduce Rent Certainty measures,” said Deputy Cowen.
“The explosion in the cost of renting is as a result of the inability of this Government to take any policy action to address the growing housing emergency.
“The homeless crisis has been unnecessarily exacerbated by the disastrous decision not to allow an increase in rent supplement thresholds. Fianna Fáil has been pushing for an increase in rent supplements to help keep families in their homes, but unfortunately the Government has decided to leave renters to fend for themselves.
“Through this budget the Government is perpetuating the mindless situation where families are being forced into emergency hotel accommodation, rather than allowing them a marginal rise in their rent supplement. This is nonsensical and sums up the Governments haphazard response to the housing emergency.
“Prior to the budget I urged the Minister to implement Fianna Fáil’s policy program to bring immediate relief to renters. Our ‘Generation Rent – A New Deal for Rents’ policy document which we published last month sets out a clear pathway to resolving the housing emergency.
“Our Rent Certainty measures would reduce rent rises by restricting rents to area-based rental index both within and between tenancies. Our proposals would encourage long term leases to give tenants greater security in their occupancy and to allow families to consider renting as a longer term option.
“Fianna Fáil’s rent policy also confronts the homeless emergency by raising the rent supplement and keeping it under review. This would ensure new properties are opened up for vulnerable households. Critically it addresses the central long-term issue of supply and complements our national housing roadmap launched last April which outlined our plan to build 150,000 new homes by 2021.”