Simon Communities say tenants need stronger protections as rents reach record heights

The charity responds to’s latest Rental Price Report

Press Releases


The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that that figures released today from the 2019 Q1 Rental Report highlight the inability of the private rental sector, in its current form, to provide adequate and secure housing for all.


The new report finds that number of homes available to rent on is at its lowest level since the series began in 2006, with just 2,700 homes available on May 1st. Rents rose nationwide by an average of 8.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, with particularly high increases in urban areas. Average rents now stand at €1,366 nationally, an all-time high. Reacting to the latest figures, the Simon Communities said it is clear the rental market is not capable of delivering the housing now needed, given the scale of the current crisis.


Paul Sheehan, spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said that the report again shows the need for public provision of secure social housing for those who need it.


“This report again shows how rental costs are continuing to put the sector well out of reach for many. Rising rents and plummeting supply within the private rented sector are preventing people from finding affordable and secure places to live. Over 10,000 people are now in emergency accommodation; many are pushed into this situation because they have been forced out of an inaccessible and insecure private rental market. Peoples’ lives are being immensely affected by this housing crisis every day, from the children forced to do their homework in hotel rooms, to older people worried about losing their tenancy and not being able to find somewhere else suitable and affordable to live.


“While the Simon Communities in Ireland note the measures to reduce precarity in the sector and the potential positive impact of many of the proposals included in the new amended Residential Tenancies Bill 2018, which was debated in the Dáil this week, a lot more remains to be done. We believe further strengthening of tenants’ rights is necessary. In particular, addressing loopholes in the existing bill around tenants’ security of tenure, such as the removal of no reason evictions at the end of every six year cycle, 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 over-burdened emergency accommodation.


“Ultimately, this crisis will be solved by the provision of social and affordable social housing. This is why the Simon Communities are calling for the State, in conjunction with Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, to build and invest in social and affordable housing across all tenure types nationwide at a scale that will be effective in addressing the scale of homelessness.”

The Simon Communities in Ireland deliver support, housing, homeless and treatment services to over 13,000 people and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness.


For media queries and interview requests


Liam Corcoran, 

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


Services include: 


  • 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.
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