Bid by Dublin councils to offer housing

All four Dublin authorities said yesterday they were urgently seeking to strike contracts with private landlords across the city to provide social accommodation, in a new sign of the housing emergency in the region.

The shortage of housing has driven up prices for home buyers and led to huge rises in private rents across the city and squeezed out the supply of social or affordable housing.

Dublin City says it alone has 21,000 people on its social housing waiting lists.

As part of the targets set by Government to provide more social housing by the end of 2017, the Dublin authorities said they now plan to offer private landlords guaranteed rental income over the short-term or long periods, of one to 20 years.

Landlords can avail of incentives including no vacancy costs, no letting fees, no rent arrears, and no maintenance costs, according to the Dublin authorities.

“Depending on the scheme chosen, landlords may be offered rents of up to 92% of the market rate including rent reviews. They can be paid during vacancy periods and in certain schemes, the local authority takes responsibility for managing the tenancy including maintenance,” said Dick Brady, assistant chief executive at Dublin City Council.

“There are schemes available for professional landlords who want to maximise income and also for those property owners wishing to be less directly involved with the letting. In all cases, we are offering guaranteed income. We will inspect the property promptly and landlords could be paid from that initial inspection.”

Analysts say that they see no significant slackening in the pace of house price and rent increases in Dublin in the coming months. The collapse of the construction industry during the crash has led to too few houses being built, while the expanding economy means that demand for housing has outstripped supply, particularly in Dublin, for some time.

Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion Capital, said he expects official figures later this week to show that Dublin prices will again help push residential property prices up by almost 1% in the month. He forecasts that prices will rise this year by 12% from 2014.

Dublin prices have risen at a much faster rate than the rest of the country. Experts say they are worried that the huge increases have as yet failed to boost housing construction by significant levels.


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