Rental System Remains Broken says Simon Communities

Homeless and housing organisation respond to the RTB Index calling for full rent certainty and enhanced security of tenure

The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that figures released this evening from the RTB Rent Index Q1 2018 show that the rental sector remains broken. This is causing homelessness and preventing people from leaving homelessness behind. The rental market is under huge pressure and is struggling to cope with demand. The homeless and housing organisation said that the introduction of full rent certainty and enhancing security of tenure would make a significant impact on the thousands of people struggling to find a home and to remain in the home they have.

The latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rent index shows that, nationally, rents rose by 7.1% annually in the first quarter of this year when compared with a year earlier. Annually, Dublin rents continued to grow by 7.8%. Outside Dublin the annualised rate was 6.3% in the GDA (Kildare,

Wicklow, Meath) and 7% to 6.6% in outside the GDA.

Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said the soaring rents and plummeting supply are of huge concern

‘Increasingly, these issues are preventing people from finding and sustaining affordable homes in the rental market. The focus must be on preventing people from losing the homes they already have, making sure people and families do not remain trapped in emergency accommodation long term. Right now there are almost 10,000 men, women and children trying to live their lives while stuck in emergency accommodation. The Rent Index is based on new tenancies registered each Quarter and therefore gives no indication of what is happening within existing tenancies. We know people will go to huge lengths to keep a roof over their own heads and that of their families. The introduction of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ’s) unfortunately does not go far enough given the depth of the crisis; measures which impact all tenancies and limit rent increases within all tenancies are required. 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 must be monitored action taken when there are breaches.’

Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities that the State must urgently ensure people have access to secure and affordable housing and that no one is left behind.

‘Keeping people in the homes they have is critical, therefore 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 severely impacted by requests 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 support and service to over 11,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness on an annual basis.

For media queries and interview requests

Helen McCormack

Tel: 01 671 1606/ 085 806 5141


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