Fianna Fáil Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has called on the Government to extend its rent certainty measures to Carlow and Kilkenny.

Senator Murnane O’Connor, who is the Fianna Fáil Seanad Housing Spokesperson, further added that new housing is needed in Carlow and Kilkenny to provide a long term solution to the housing and rental crisis.

“People living in Carlow and Kilkenny have had to deal with substantial rent increases in recent years. The shortage of accommodation has led to excessive rental inflation. This has put enormous pressure on family incomes as wage increases simply are not keeping up with rent inflation,” explained Senator Murnane O’Connor.

“It’s been well acknowledged that the housing and rental markets simply are not operating normally at the moment. This is why the Government introduced legislation to provide rent certainty for people; however Carlow and Killkenny were not included in this. I’m calling on Minister Coveney to revaluate this and ensure Carlow and Kilkenny is included in the legislation given the difficulties people are having in keeping up with rent increases.

“Ultimately the housing crisis can only be overcome by increasing housing supply in the medium to long term. The Government needs to step up its efforts to incentivise housing construction in areas of high accommodation demand. We can’t have a situation whereby the number of new builds consistently falls well below of what is required on an annual basis to meet demographic changes. This will only prolong the housing and rental crisis.

“Ireland needs at least 25,000 new homes to be built each year. However in 2016 fewer than 15,000 new homes were built nationwide. This clearly demonstrates that the Government needs to step up its efforts to ensure the construction of new homes returns to a normal level. In the meantime we need to see the extension of the rent certainty measures to Carlow and Kilkenny so that people are given a reprieve from consistent increases in accommodation costs,” concluded Senator Murnane O’Connor.