Fine Gael labelled ‘the landlord party’ due to homeless crisis

Long-awaited plans to tackle the rental crisis are to be published by Housing Minister Simon Coveney next Tuesday.

Enda Kenny was accused of being “the leader of the landlord party” which has failed to address the housing crisis. But the Taoiseach told the Dáil that the proposals have taken time to develop as “it has to be done properly” and said there will be a debate on the rental sector plans when the bill goes through the House.

“It won’t be sorted out without dealing with the question of supply,” he added.

AAA-PBP TD Mick Barry pointed out that rents have increased year on year by nearly 12% throughout the State, and nearly 15% in Cork city.

“In the Taoiseach’s lifetime, has he ever witnessed more families homeless at Christmas?” he asked Mr Kenny during Leader’s Questions in the Dáil, adding that “kids are waiting for Santa to come down the chimney of a bed and breakfast or hotel, some for the second year running”.

The Cork North Central TD went on to say that the country is “crying out for a Taoiseach who will bang the table, turn calmly to the landlords and tell them that they have bled the people for long enough and will not increase rents on our people by one single penny more”.

He claimed that Mr Kenny “does not look like the man for that job” and instead said he is the “leader of the landlord party”.

Mr Kenny told the Dáil that a balance has to be struck between those who are tenants and those who supply accommodation for tenancy: “I admit that there are people under real pressure, many of whom have had to leave the accommodation they were in.”

But he added that Mr Coveney has been making “very strenuous efforts” to deal with the homeless and housing crisis.

Separately, Sinn Féin published its own policy document on the rental sector which includes linking rent to the consumer price index (CPI) and reviewing tax rebates for landlords.

Party housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin, said the 19 recommendations in the document include a proposal to make tenancies of indefinite duration the norm.


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