‘Bold, swift measures’ urged as average rent hits €1,060

The average rent in Ireland now stands at €1,060 a month, according to data drawn from all new tenancy agreements registered with the Residential Tenancies Board.

The Residential Tenancies Board Rent Index further revealed that there were annual rent rises in Dublin city (8.8%), Cork city (3.4%), Galway (5.8%), Limerick, (10%), and Waterford (6%).

It said that the standardised national average rent for new tenancies was €1,060, up from €990 one year earlier.

In Dublin, the average rent for new tenancies stood at €1,527, while in commuter counties Meath, Wicklow, and Kildare, it was €1,104.

Outside of this Greater Dublin Area, new average rents were €791. However, the standardised average rents in Cork and Galway are more than €1,000.

The figures came as an Oireachtas was told that Ireland needs to take “take bold and swift measures to urgently address homelessness”, including enshrining a right to housing law.

Leilani Farha, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, made the call as it was revealed that rents have risen by 7.1% in the past year.

Addressing the Oireachtas Housing Committee yesterday, Ms Farha described the rise of homelessness in Ireland as “alarming”, and said that housing strategies must be based in law and affirm the right to housing as a legal right.

“The obligation to realise the right to housing lies with States and cannot be delegated to private actors,” said Ms Farha.

“However, housing strategies will not be effective if they fail to engage the dominant role played by financial markets and investors which are helping to push low and middle-income households out of cities. Strategies must include robust measures to reorient private investment and development to ensure inclusive cities and affordable housing.

“I encourage you to take bold and swift measures to urgently address homelessness as an egregious human rights violation, no different from any other violation of the right to life, and security of the person.”

Sinead Kerin, acting managing solicitor with the Mercy Law Resource Centre, told the committee that a constitutional right to housing would allow for legal challenges in instances where the State would attempt to cut funding for homelessness accommodation, or should the rent supplement and HAP payments fail to meet market rent.

“A right to housing would require the State, in its decisions and policies, to protect the right to housing in balance with other rights and would mean that the courts could look at the State decision or policy as to whether it was ‘proportionate’ by reference to the right,” said Ms Kerins. “It would mean that Government and State policies and actions would have to respect the right.”

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