The government has been told to adopt radical solutions to tackle the country's rental market or face a worsening of the housing crisis.
It comes as a new report compiled for daft.ie showed a record low number of properties for rent at the start of this month, on top of an 8.3% annual rise in average monthly rents.
Responding to the latest report, national housing charity Threshold tweeted that the rent increases "reinforce our concern about the inadequacy of the Housing Assistance Payment as a means of supporting those seeking increasingly expensive and scarce rental accommodation".
It also said that the recent surge in planning applications for more than 6,000 residential properties would not lead to an increased supply of housing for families and individuals in receipt of HAP, minimum wage workers or key workers.
#Rent increases in latest @daftmedia reinforce our concern about the inadequacy of the Housing Assistance Payment as a means of supporting those seeking increasingly expensive and scarce rental accommodation. #DaftReport #WhereWillWeLivehttps://t.co/dXG9rNXcun pic.twitter.com/QTKkQgKZz7— Threshold (@ThresholdIRE) May 13, 2019
Later Threshold's CEO, John Mark McCafferty, said the Government needed to consider all the options open to it to provide more affordable housing and that greater enforcement and stronger sanctions would need to be implemented to ensure landlords adhere to rent pressure zone regulations.
He also said it was time for a review of the HAP system, which has not been changed since 2016.
"There needs to be a change in the way social housing is delivered," Mr McCafferty told RTE's News At One programme.
On the same programme Prof Alan Ahearne, Professor of Economics at NUI Galway, warned that a lack of construction workers was one of the main obstacles to tackling the housing crisis.
"At the end of the day, we need more housing supply, but we just don’t have the workers,” he said, adding that while consideration needed to be given to bringing in overseas workers, it was not feasible for “armies of construction workers” to arrive here when there are not enough houses in which they could live, or rent they could afford.
He also said that including institutional landlords in rent pressure zones would not necessarily help the situation, suggesting that as new premises come on stream they were being rented at high prices as the landlords knew that they could not increase the rents in the future.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy had earlier said that extending the rent pressure zones until 2021 to include institutional landlords will mean a new level of protection for tenants.
“We know there is more work to do, but there has been some progress," he said. "Last year there was a 25% increase in the number of houses built and there will be an increase again this year."
But elsewhere political reaction to the daft.ie report was scornful of government efforts.
Govt has failed renters, left them to spralling rents, insecurity and no prospects of relief. We need action - rent freeze, rent control, tax relief #RaiseTheRoof https://t.co/JwBM26FuCc— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) May 13, 2019
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald tweeted that the government "has failed renters, left them to spiralling rents, insecurity and no prospects of relief. We need action - rent freeze, rent control, tax relief."
Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said "a whole generation of renters have been effectively abandoned to the private rental sector" while Labour TD Jan O'Sullivan called on Minister Murphy to introduce a rent register and bring in rent controls across Ireland.