“The Government needs to intervene now to stop rents sky-rocketing any further. We have to end this exploitation of renters and those priced out of the housing market. That objective should start with an inescapable nationwide rent freeze now.”

The Social Democrats today set out the party’s priorities for the new Dáil term, calling for a nationwide freeze on rents at current levels to stem the flow of low-and-middle income earners into homelessness.

Speaking ahead of the resumption of the Dáil after the summer break, the party’s co-leader Róisín Shortall TD accused the Fine Gael-led government of exacerbating the housing crisis and putting developers and private property rights ahead of the public good.

Deputy Shortall said:

“This new Dáil session coincides with the tenth anniversary of the financial crash which brought the country to its knees. Yet a decade later, this Fine Gael led government, with the support of Fianna Fáil, is continuing with the same failed policies that put the interests of private developers and land speculators ahead of workers and families.

“One of the worst effects of the housing crisis is that more and more people are relying on private rental accommodation. Rents are at record levels. According to DAFT, rents nationwide have risen by 75% since 2011 and are now 27% higher than their 2008 peak.”

The party’s Political Director and Consumer Affairs Spokesperson, Anne Marie McNally added:

“Spiralling rents are at the heart of the surge in homelessness in recent years as more and more people are being priced out of their homes. It’s obvious that the existing rent caps are not working. For a start, they don’t apply to the whole country.  They also apply too high a cap and are much too easy for landlords to evade.

“The Government needs to intervene now to stop rents sky-rocketing any further. We have to end this exploitation of renters and those priced out of the housing market. That objective should start with an inescapable nationwide rent freeze now.”

ENDS

18th September 2018