The Government and Fianna Fáil combined yesterday to vote down Sinn Féin’s plans for rent certainty.
For the third time this week, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil found themselves to be on the same side in terms of a vote on legislation.
The Rent Certainty Bill was defeated in the Dáil by 87 votes to 43.
Fianna Fáil’s housing spokesman Barry Cowen said he and his party voted against Sinn Féin as the party sought to preempt the Oireachtas housing committee report.
He said: “It was wrong to put this forward ahead of the final report from the housing and homelessness committee.”
Mr Cowen described the Sinn Féin bill as “old politics” and stated it was an effort to upstage the all-party response of the housing committee.
The proposed Sinn Féin Rent Certainty Bill sought to link rises in rent to the Consumer Price Index in an attempt to keep prices from continuously creeping upwards.
Its housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin said in the aftermath of the vote he was “deeply disappointed that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have voted against this legislation”.
He said the bill “would have provided much-needed stability in the private rental market, for both landlords and tenants. Families facing rent reviews in the coming months could see their rent jump by 10 to 20%”.
The bill, he claimed, would have saved renters up to €1,000 yearly.
Mr Ó Broin argued Fianna Fáil, in the past, called for rent certainty measures.
He said Fianna Fáil’s decision to side with the Government was unfortunate.
“While it is not surprising that Fine Gael is opposed to rent certainty, Fianna Fáil’s opposition to our bill is hard to understand.”
He said Sinn Féin will continue to pursue fair rents and security of tenure for renters struggling with rising costs everywhere.
Mr Ó Broin, who sat on the housing committee, said Sinn Féin was “not trying to preempt the housing committee or the minister”.
The Oireachtas housing and homelessness committee will, later today, release its report into the housing crisis and set out a series of recommendations to begin to tackle the problem.
Housing committee chairman John Curran said “the scale of the challenge facing Ireland is immense”.
In advance of the report, he added “as well as those who are already homeless, there are thousands of others who are at risk of losing their homes”.
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