Simon Coveney: Setting rents across the country would cause investment to flee

Simon Coveney: Setting rents across the country would cause investment to flee

The housing minister says if he intervened to set rents across the country, then investment in the sector would flee.

Simon Coveney has announced a rental strategy - the key element is a 4% per year maximum increase in Dublin and Cork.

Other areas around the country will also be added if the residential tenancies board reports rents have risen by at least 7% in four of the six previous quarters.

Minister Coveney says he was not going to introduce price setting by linking rents to inflation: "This isn't about politics per-say,

"This is about doing what is right for a huge rental market that has nearly three-quarters of a million people in it.

"Both within Dublin and in other parts of the country."

"And it is about putting robust systems in place to ensure that we can have targeted intervention that makes sense to do so,

"It is not about the state taking over the rental market and setting rents across the country.

"I think if we do that we will find investments just leaving the country en mass."

Meanwhile three national housing associations have come together to call on the Housing Minister Simon Coveney to deliver on his promise to establish a pilot affordable rental scheme.

“We strongly support affordable rental housing, which targets a group of people who simply cannot afford to sustain current private sector rents,” said Kieron Brennan, CEO, Co-operative Housing Ireland.

“These households are either excluded from the rental market or paying more than 30% of their net income on rent, which is the widely accepted affordability threshold. Many are young working people who have a vital role to play in Ireland’s economic recovery.”

There has been some positive feedback to the new proposal as The Dublin Tenants Association has cautiously welcomed Simon Coveney’s measures to regulate rent increases but says they do not go far enough.

“Taking some of the heat out of spiralling rent increases is a welcome emergency measure”, said Mick Byrne of the Dublin Tenants Association.

“but it does not amount to a national strategy for the rental sector or a real vision because it fails to address some of the most pressing issues: the current high level of rents and the absence of security or tenure”.

Others welcomed the measures but felt they did not go far enough. IMPACT leader organiser and Secure Rents campaign spokesperson Joe O’Connor had the following to say:

“While the Secure Rents campaign acknowledges that Minister Coveney has shown a willingness to move on rent predictability for Ireland’s 750,000 tenants, we believe these specific measures are not in themselves sufficient to assist renters across Ireland. While the so-called ‘pressure zone’ measures will seek to curtail the excessive rent increases projected for both Dublin and Cork, we’re greatly concerned by the apparent exclusion of other high pressure areas."


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