RESPONDING to the latest rental figures from property website Daft.ie, Labour Party Councillor Conor Sheehan said a 17.1 per cent increase in rents in Limerick was staggering.
With rents up 14 per cent nationwide year on year, Cllr Sheehan said the housing market is totally out of control.
The City North representative described the record 4.3 per cent increase in three months alone as deeply concerning.
“As renters battle it out for a roof over their head, the Housing Minister is more concerned with spin and reheated political messages that any work of substance,” Cllr Sheehan claimed.
“The phenomenal nationwide increase in rents is outrageous and it is deeply concerning to see rents up by 17.1 per cent in Limerick alone. How are people supposed to keep up with this when their pay hasn’t increased in line with rental inflation?
“These increases, coupled with a dramatic drop in availability of rental homes in Limerick, should sound alarm bells in Government Buildings. There has been an abject failure by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to address the rental crisis borne out by the statistics published by Daft.”
According to Sheehan, people in Limerick have had wasted six years when it comes to housing policy, with the Government parties “concerning themselves with the wants and needs of the big developers rather than the people who need a roof over their head”.
“It’s simply staggering to see rents in Longford, Leitrim and Cavan increase by more than 20 per cent this year, with people renting in all our cities asked to cough up at least an additional 10 per cent on rent. This is in the context of fuel increases, the price of groceries skyrocketing, and wages simply not keeping pace.
“Over one year on, Housing For All has clearly failed and the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil policy of not increasing rental stock has clearly failed. It is behind on the majority of its self-prescribed targets, including cost-rental homes. The crisis we find ourselves in when it comes to the rental market demands a step change in policy approach with a renewed focus on the rental sector.”
A report published by Threshold in October shows that one in five households are renting now, compared with one in ten in the 1990s.
“It’s clear that this trend towards renting will continue to increase and there must be targeted policy measures to ensure stock for those who need it.
“Renters in Limerick are not transient, they are not just young. Renters are single households, families, older people. They are the people who come to me looking for help week in week out and they must have access to affordable, quality accommodation with security of tenure.
“Yet, we totally lag behind other countries on renters’ rights and renters are just expected to put up with it without any meaningful intervention from government in a rental market that is overcooked, Cllr Sheehan concluded.