Charity warns of critical lack of affordable housing as tenants face record rents

Charity warns of critical lack of affordable housing as tenants face record rents

Housing charity Threshold has warned that the lack of affordable rental properties is at a critical level for many people around the country after the latest RTB Index figures show an 8.2% increase in national average rent.

The 8.2% year-on-year increase was driven in particular by rent inflation outside of Dublin. The rents in Galway, Kerry, Meath, Offaly, Monaghan, Sligo, Waterford and Westmeath all rose by more than 10% in the year.

It comes as updated OECD Affordable Housing Database figures show that 77% of young Irish adults live with their parents with many increasingly relying on financial support from their families to buy a home.

The database ranks Ireland third-highest in the EU for young adults still living with their parents and also sees Ireland ranked 19th in the EU for owner-occupancy of properties.

26% of Irish home-owners occupy the property in which they live without a mortgage, according to the data collected.

10.6% of Irish people rent properties at market price on private rental market and 14.3% of people rent at a reduced or subsidised price.

Threshold Chairperson Aideen Hayden said that the news comes as we enter "the most financially precarious period of the year for many people on low incomes".

“People facing large post-Christmas bills in January will also be facing record rents. It is a perfect storm for vulnerable families and individuals who rent their home.”

The year on year increase in Dublin, at 6.6%, is the lowest for a long time but this is of little comfort to renters who are still facing rent increases of more than seven times the level of inflation.

The Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty commented on the continually rising rents in cities and towns outside of Dublin.

“Shockingly Baltinglass [Co Wicklow] saw an increase of over 20% and it has now been designated an RPZ. Renters in the area will struggle with monthly rent which is now €200 more a month than it was in Q3 2018.

"This means they will have €200 less purchasing power, money which is not now available for bills, car insurance, childcare costs, groceries or Christmas gifts.”

Threshold said that the calls to their tenant support services show that such increases in rent have serious consequences in particular for those on lower incomes such as low wage workers, the unemployed, those in receipt of disability payments and pensioners.

In cases where the HAP payments fall short these vulnerable tenants are left paying sizeable top-ups to landlords in order to keep their homes.

More in this Section

Two banks to sell off over 1,000 ATMsTwo banks to sell off over 1,000 ATMs

Housing cure needs careful consideration of all options, not a knee-jerk reactionHousing cure needs careful consideration of all options, not a knee-jerk reaction

Cork Company of the Year Awards: Casting an eye over the Large company finalistsCork Company of the Year Awards: Casting an eye over the Large company finalists

Boom-bust property cycle is a certaintyBoom-bust property cycle is a certainty


Lifestyle

Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

More From The Irish Examiner