The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that figures released today from the RTB Rent Index Q3 2018 show that the rental sector is failing those who rely on it. This is pushing people into homelessness and preventing people from leaving homelessness behind; people remain stuck in emergency accommodation with nowhere to go. The homeless and housing organisation said that the introduction of full rent certainty and enhancing security of tenure through indefinite leasing would make a significant impact on the thousands of people struggling to find a home or to remain in the home they have.
The latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rent index shows that, nationally, the annual growth rate was 7.5%, down from 7.8% in the previous quarter. The highest rents were in Dublin City (€1,620), Cork City (€1,172), Galway City (€1,187), Limerick City (€928) and Waterford City (€638).
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said increasing rents and plummeting supply remain a huge concern.
‘While there has been a slight decline in the rate of growth, these issues continue to prevent people from finding and sustaining affordable homes in the private rental market. What this report does not include are top-ups and other informal arrangements that people make to remain in the homes they have which impact on their standard of living. People forego food, heat and light and much else to keep a roof over their own heads and of their families. Full rent certainty and security of tenure are the building blocks for a stable rental sector and we renew our call for their urgent introduction. In the meantime, Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) must be monitored and new enforcement measure must be introduced and implemented urgently. In the absence of an open and transparent rent register there is no way to ensure landlords adhere to RPZs and we support the call to establish such a register.’
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that access to safe, affordable and secure housing must be recognised as a fundamental human right.
‘Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ’s) alone unfortunately do not go far enough given the depth of the housing and homeless crisis; measures which impact all tenancies and limit rent increases within all tenancies are required. Housing must become recognised as a fundamental human right in the Irish constitution; it is one that facilitates the enjoyment of so many other rights including health, education, employment, privacy and family life. To be adequately housed means having security of tenure – not having to worry about eviction or having your home taken away with very little notice. Low income families and those in receipt of state housing benefits can be burdened with demands for unreasonable deposits at the commencement of tenancies. The State must legislate for a statutory maximum of one month’s deposit to be paid at the commencement of a new tenancy. We need to transition from emergency-led responses to a statutory homelessness preventative model underpinned by State obligations to respect, protect and fulfil citizen’s basic right to adequate housing.’
The Simon Communities deliver supports and services each year to over 13,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness.
For media queries and interview requests
Tel: 01 671 1606/ 085 806 5141
Homelessness - the numbers
- During one week in October 2018 (latest available figures), there were 9,724 people living in emergency accommodation, including 3,631 adults without dependents in their care and 1,709 families composed of 2,369 adults and 3,725 children. (Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government October 2018).
- On the night of 27th November 2018, there were 156 people without a place to sleep in Dublin City. Unfortunately, Dublin is the only area where an official rough sleeper count takes place, making it difficult to get a countrywide rough sleeping picture. (Dublin Regional Homeless Executive 2018).
- Locked Out of the Market XII found that 94% of rental properties are beyond the reach for those in receipt of state housing support (Simon Communities, 2018).
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities support over 13,000 men, women and children. We have almost 50 years of experience providing homeless, housing and treatment services to people facing the trauma and stress of homelessness. We are a network of independent Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East, responding to local needs and supported by a National Office in the areas of policy, research, communications and best practice. We share common values and ethos in tackling homelessness and, informed by our grassroots services, we campaign for more effective policies and legislation regionally, nationally and at European level. Whatever the issue, Simon’s door is always open for as long as we are needed. For more information, please log on to www.simon.ie
· Homelessness prevention, tenancy sustainment and resettlement.
· Street outreach, emergency accommodation and harm reduction.
· Housing with support and Housing First services.
· Homeless specific health and wellbeing services (counselling; addiction treatment and recovery; and mental health supports).
· Personal development, education, training and employment services.
· Foodbanks, drop-in centres and soup runs.