“Instead of getting on with building affordable homes, the Fine Gael government continues to pretend that the market can solve this escalating problem.”

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD today blasted the government for abandoning renters as the latest Daft.ie figures show that the number of homes available to rent has reached its lowest level since 2006.

Deputy Murphy said:

“The cost of housing including astronomical rents is the single biggest driver of the high cost of living for people. Instead of getting on with building affordable homes, the Fine Gael government continues to pretend that the market can solve this escalating problem. As today’s daft.ie figures once again show, this is the least effective and most expensive approach to increasing housing supply.

“With average monthly rent nationwide now standing at €1,366, it’s crystal clear that a whole generation of renters have been effectively abandoned to the private rental sector. Rent pressure zones have failed and many people living in rental accommodation are struggling to keep roofs over their heads while living with the daily fear of sudden rent hikes or eviction notices.

“In the Social Democrats manifesto for local government, we propose a rapid scale up in the rate of house building by local authorities on public landbanks particularly on brownfield sites that are suitable for residential development and could be brought into use quickly.

“A number of the larger approved housing bodies have come together and are right now putting it up to the Government to support their proposals to provide a major social and affordable cost rental building programme to meet the scale of need that exists.

“Yet once again this government continues to pander to the failed ‘market will provide’ ideology and point-blank refuses to act to deliver the scale of social and affordable homes that are so badly needed around the county.”

ENDS

13th May 2019