The explosion in rents – with increases of 9% throughout the country and 11% in Dublin since January – is the number one reason for the five-fold increase in the number of homeless families this year, with 700 families including 1500 children currently living in emergency accommodation.
The homelessness calamity will be made much worse by Minister Joan Burton’s decision not to allow a marginal increase in supplement thresholds for families to afford rising rents.
The justification for this disastrous decision – that it could lead to further rent inflation – is not based on evidence. Rent supplement is to prevent poverty by keeping families in their homes, its purpose is not to regulate the private rental market as the Minister is proposing.
Fianna Fáil Rent Certainty measures would reduce rent rises immediately by restricting rents to area-based rental index both within and between tenancies. Proposals outlined 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.