Solidarity councillor Cian Prendiville has called for the introduction of rent controls and a ban on economic evictions following reports that Limerick rents are the fastest rising in Ireland.
With the latest Daft.ie report showing that rents in Limerick City have risen by 20 per cent in the last year and more than 80 per cent over the last five years, Cllr Prendiville says Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy needs to take immediate action to prevent more homelessness and misery.
Over recent years, rents have risen by 82.2 per cent in the city, the greatest percentage increase in Munster and higher even than in South County Dublin.
“The lack of government intervention has allowed it to turn into a bull-market where landlords and corporations expect ever-increasing returns. It’s working well for landlords but families on the receiving end of hikes are being made homeless or forced into slum conditions,” the City North representative declared.
“Eoghan Murphy and Leo Varadkar say they want to deal with the homelessness crisis. The vast majority of people fall into homelessness from the private market. Yesterday’s report shows that for people on HAP or other payments there are very few places they can rent, so they must be kept in the homes they have.”
Cllr Prendiville takes the view that there should be a ban on economic evictions due to rent increases, or because the landlord wants to sell. Measures, he said, should be introduced to reduce rents to affordable levels linked to income.
“Rents have boomed while increases in workers’ wages have been miserly across the economy. People shouldn’t be spending half their income on housing.
“The government’s ‘rent pressure zones’ have proven to be a failure too, with rents in Dublin and other cities continue to increase by double-digit figures. The government need to come back to the Dáil with immediate legislation to introduce proper rent controls.
“It is highly unlikely that the government will introduce these measures of their own accord, they will need to be forced to by a campaign of public pressure. Actions like those by the activists in the Summerhill Occupation in Dublin can spread across the country and become a focal point for communities organising. There is also major protest called for October 3. If people across the country mobilise in tens of thousands that will increase the pressure hugely on this government,” he concluded.
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