Government told to adopt radical solutions or face worsening of housing crisis

Government told to adopt radical solutions or face worsening of housing crisis

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.

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.

If the Government is really serious then they need to look at a very radical way. Ramping up supply is required in the meantime.

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.

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.

More on this topic

Govt 'not in the business of providing bailouts to bust builders', says Finance MinisterGovt 'not in the business of providing bailouts to bust builders', says Finance Minister

Tourism body claim 13-storey apartment block 'will compromise Guinness storehouse experience'Tourism body claim 13-storey apartment block 'will compromise Guinness storehouse experience'

Govt-backed body gets funding to build 7,500 homes in five yearsGovt-backed body gets funding to build 7,500 homes in five years

Govt agency preparing ambitious plans for housing on site of former Cork psychiatric hospitalGovt agency preparing ambitious plans for housing on site of former Cork psychiatric hospital

More in this Section

'I visit her grave every day': Santina Cawley's mum heartbroken at thought of life her daughter won't get to live 'I visit her grave every day': Santina Cawley's mum heartbroken at thought of life her daughter won't get to live

Eamon Ryan would be open to Green Party going into GovernmentEamon Ryan would be open to Green Party going into Government

Grieve accuses Johnson of Brexit ‘radicalisation’ over Irish backstopGrieve accuses Johnson of Brexit ‘radicalisation’ over Irish backstop

Dad of gifted student with special needs appeals for 'invaluable' resource class to stay openDad of gifted student with special needs appeals for 'invaluable' resource class to stay open


Lifestyle

It's hard to build a reputation in gaming, but it can be even harder to keep one.Game Tech: Dragon Quest Builders sequel builds on first outing

Tea dunking is not just for cosy winter evenings. Biscuits are handy in the summer months for picnics or to keep you going on long hikes.Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Apply sunscreen throughout the day, says Helen O’CallaghanBurning issue: Children's skin needs added protection from the sun

Skincare guru Dr Raj Arora explains how this cleansing technique can make a big difference.Why you should follow the 60 second rule when washing your face, according to an expert

More From The Irish Examiner