Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen has responded to comments from Minister Alan Kelly regarding the ongoing rental crisis. Minister Kelly said the rental crisis gripping the entire country represents a “moral issue” on behalf of landlords.
Figure recently released by the PRTB show a staggering 7% increase in rents throughout the country, with a 9% increase in Dublin since January.
Deputy Cowen said, “Minister Kelly’s comment that the rental crisis constitutes a moral failing on behalf of landlords gives an interesting insight into just how detached he and his colleagues have become from what is happening in the country. Having taken his eye off the ball and entirely failing entirely to respond to an issue that has been escalating for more than a year, he is now trying to play landlords and tenants against each other.”
“To claim the reason people have to pay excessive rents is because of the moral integrity on the part of landlords, as the Minister has sought to do, is to clutch at straws.
“While no one condones the excessive rents that many landlords are charging, it is the failure of this government to take any actions to address the lack of housing supply which has caused the rent explosion.
“As we have been saying for some time, we have a Minister who mistook newspaper coverage of his announcements for action on the crisis. In his rush to declare himself the best housing minister that the country has seen, he missed the massive rental crisis that was emerging under his nose. Minister Kelly simply does not have any policy ideas for addressing the rental crisis.
“I urge the Minister to implement Fianna Fáil’s detailed and costed policy program to bring immediate relief to renters, which we published in our ‘Generation Rent – A New Deal for Rents’ policy document last month.
“Our Rent Certainty measures would reduce rent rises immediately by restricting rent rises to an area-based rental index. Our proposals would also 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.”