Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says the proposed strategy to curb rent increases must be extended to the commuter belt outside of Dublin.

Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after Minister for Housing Simon Coveney indicated that new restrictions would be introduced in Dublin and Cork to limit rent increases over the next three years.

“People living in Kildare and other commuter counties have had to deal with substantial rent increases in recent years. This has put enormous pressure on family incomes as wage increases simply are not keeping up with rent inflation. The end result is that living standards are being eroded,” said Deputy O’Rourke.

“Fianna Fáil have highlighted that the housing crisis is prevalent in large urban areas right across the country. It is no longer just confined to Dublin as was the case when the crisis first emerged. Accordingly any strategy to tackle the crisis must be all encompassing and must cater for commuter areas, particularly in Kildare.

“Ultimately the housing crisis can only be overcome by increasing housing supply in the medium to long term. However we have acknowledged that short term measures are needed to provide rent certainty for tenants over the next three years. Fianna Fáil published substantial proposals last November to provide rent certainty for people right across the country.

“The strategy unveiled by Minister Coveney is a positive step forward in helping to curb rent increases. However the strategy is too narrow in focus in that it only provides certainty for people in Dublin and Cork. It must be extended as people living in counties such as Kildare have already had to endure colossal rent increases, and further rises seem inevitable. People living in areas such as Leixlip, Maynooth, Cellbridge, Kilcock and Clane simply cannot endure further rent increases.

“Fianna Fáil will be pushing for the Government to extend the rent certainty measures to Kildare. I have spoken to our Housing Spokesperson Barry Cowen and he has assured me that this is a top priority for the party,” said Deputy O’Rourke.