The Simon Communities in Ireland say that figures released today from the Daft.ie 2017 Q3 Rental Report show that the private rental market remains unable to cope with demand. The housing and homelessness organisation said that the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones did not go far enough, given the scale of the crisis, and that they should be reviewed as soon as possible.
Rents increased nationally by 11.2%, in the year to September 2017. Across the major urban centres, inflation in rents varied from 12.3% in Dublin City where rents are now higher than their 2008 peak, to 10.9% in Limerick City, 9.8% in Galway City and 5.3% in Cork City. Other areas showing significant year on year increases include 12.9% in Meath, 16.7% in Louth. The average monthly rent during the first quarter 2017 was €1,198.
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that the introduction of full rent certainty and enhancing security of tenure would make a significant positive impact.
‘There are 8,374 people who are stuck in emergency accommodation. Many of them come from the private rental sector where they were unable to afford to stay in the homes that they already had. Now they have nowhere to go to because the market is so expensive that it is not an option for them. We must focus on preventing people from losing the homes that they have. We need measures that impact all tenancies and limit rent increases within all tenancies. Full rent certainty and security of tenure are the building blocks for a stable rental sector and we call yet again for their urgent introduction.’
‘Loopholes in existing legislation must be closed urgently; for example restricting landlords with more than three properties from invoking Section 34 of the Residential Tenancies Act to issue notice of termination to tenants. Low-income families and those in receipt of state housing benefits are being hit by requests for unreasonable deposits at the commencement of tenancies. The State must legislate for a statutory maximum of one month’s deposit paid at the commencement of a new tenancy. It was extremely disappointing to hear Minister Eoghan Murphy rule this out, we urge him to reconsider. Bearing in mind recent revelations about overcrowding and quality in the private rented sector it is essential that and NCT type inspection system is implemented as soon as possible with the necessary enforcement mechanisms and severe penalties
‘Secure social and affordable housing across tenure types is badly needed to prevent more people from becoming homeless and ensure that people can leave homelessness behind. The cost rental model must be rolled out as a matter of urgency and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) must be fully resourced and supported to engage with the model to provide as many affordable housing units as quickly possible.’
The Simon Communities deliver supports and services to over 8,300 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness every year.
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Homelessness - the numbers
- During one week in September 2017 (latest available figures), there were 8,374 men, women and children in emergency accommodation across the country. This included 3,233 adults with no dependents in their care and 1,455 families with 3,124 children. (DHPCLG, September 2017).
· During one night in April 2017, there were 195 people without a place to sleep in Dublin City. This included 138 people sleeping rough and 57 people sheltering at the Night Café (DRHE 2017) A 35% increase on June 2016.Unfortunately, Dublin is the only area where an official rough sleeper count takes place, making it difficult to get a countrywide rough sleeping picture.
· Rents have increased nationally by 52% while the number of properties available to rent has reduced by 82% since 2012.
· Locked Out of the Market VII: The Gap between Rent Supplement/HAP Limits and Market Rents’ conducted over three consecutive days – 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March 2017 found 88% of  properties available to rent are beyond the reach of people dependent on state housing benefits (Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP)).
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities in Ireland are a network of eight regionally based independent Simon Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East that share common values and ethos in tackling all forms of homelessness throughout Ireland, supported by a National Office. The Simon Communities have been providing services in Ireland for over 40 years. The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 8,300 individuals and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year. Whatever the issue, for as long as we are needed, Simon’s door is always open. For more information please log on to www.simon.ie
Services range from
· Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk;
· Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence;
· Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.