Rent controls are key for Rabharta’s Limerick mayoral candidate

Dr Laura Keyes on the campaign trail for Mayor of Limerick Photo: Brendan Gleeson

RABHARTA mayoral candidate for Limerick, Dr Laura Keyes, said she would introduce rent controls local if successful on the upcoming June 7 ballot.

Dr Keyes, a senior public health investigator and university lecturer, wants to use the current rent pressure zones to introduce bolstered rent controls in Limerick. This, she believes, will address the crippling rent rises in Limerick, which she says have seen a three-fold increase in the last 10 years.

“If I am elected mayor, I will be using the already-existing rent pressure zones to introduce proper rent controls like cities across Europe have. And no, I don’t care that this is not in the negatively-defined remit of the mayor according to the legislation – I will be taking my mandate to the Housing Minister and simply informing him that I will be seeking consensus on council for a rent index for Limerick,” Dr Keyes insisted.

“I expect the full weight of the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Green coalition to try and stymie my plans to make housing cheaper in Limerick. But mayors across Europe regularly go against national housing policy with sensible measures which would stabilise the rental market and make housing more accessible.

“My priority on housing will be forming consensus in council to intervene in the local housing market for the benefit of workers, carers, and people with disabilities in Limerick.”

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Dr Keyes believes the idea that landlords would exit the market if rents were controlled is a scare story relied upon by those who support the Land Development Agency’s “flawed” policy.

“I want Limerick to be the first local authority in the country to apply proper rent controls to reduce the cost of living and for other councils to follow suit,” she declared.