The Simon Communities of Ireland have said that the latest Daft.ie rental report, released today, shows that tenants nationwide are faced with a “huge disadvantage” in terms of housing.
The report, which measures average rent prices in the fourth quarter of 2018, shows that rents rose nationwide by an average of 9.8% during the year, with particularly high increases in urban areas. The homelessness and housing organisation said that while it is encouraging that the number of properties available to rent nationally showed rare signs of increase, availability of affordable housing in the private sector remains far too low nationwide.
Paul Sheehan, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said that measures are needed urgently to enhance security of tenure in the private rental market.
“As this reports shows, despite the supply of private rented properties improving, rent prices continue to increase, meaning that the almost half-million renters across Ireland face a huge disadvantage in terms of their housing. Nearly 10,000 men, women and children remain stuck in emergency accommodation. Many have come from the private rental sector, where they were forced to give up the homes that they already had due to spiralling rents. Now their only option is to remain stuck in emergency accommodation as housing is expensive beyond reach and supply, while increasing, remains far too low. For that reason, enhancing security of tenure has to be an urgent priority so that people already housed can keep a roof over their heads and have greater certainty in their daily lives. People trapped in emergency accommodation need secure and affordable homes, with support where needed.
All options need to be considered in addressing this crisis, and for that reason the Simon Communities of Ireland urge the implementation of many of the proposals included in the new amended Residential Tenancies Bill 2018, currently under consideration in the Dáil. The proposed amendments need to be expedited through the Oireachtas in order for them to be implemented. In particular, the proposals to address many of the loopholes in the existing bill around tenants’ security of tenure could potentially make a huge difference to those who are affected by the lack of affordable housing in the private rental market and help take pressure off an over-burdened emergency accommodation.
Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) provided for in existing legislation need to be properly monitored and continuously enforced by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). Loopholes such as the Section 34 (of the RTA) clause allowing for evictions due to reasons of sale or renovation, are being misused. More broadly, it is clear that the private sector is struggling to deliver the level of affordable housing needed in this country in the long term. The Simon Communities of Ireland believe it is vital that the State, in conjunction with Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, build and invest in social and affordable housing across all tenure types nationwide.”
In 2017, the Simon Communities of Ireland delivered support, housing, homeless and treatment services to over 13,000 people and families at risk or experiencing homelessness.
For media queries and interview requests
Communications and Campaigns Officer,
Simon Communities of Ireland.
Tel: 085 806 5141
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities support over 13,000 men, women and children. We have 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 visit 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.
- Food banks, drop-in centres and soup runs.