Govt Must Choose Over Rent Control Or More Homelessness - SF

The government must choose between fair regulations to tackle rising rents or future increases in homelessness, Sinn Féin has said.

The party's housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis, made the comments following calls by some housing groups to raise the level of rent supplements to meet increasing rents across Ireland.

Deputy Ellis said: "The government must decide whose side they are on. Is it the side of those who would evict a family who cannot afford yet another rent rise or the unemployed families and low earners who are struggling to keep a roof over their head. The choice is that simple, it is between fair controls on rent levels or more homelessness. On a social and economic level we cannot afford to allow homelessness to increase.

"Rents have been going up since this government as there is too few houses available and very high demand. Rents are out of control, especially in Dublin and putting people at risk of homelessness.

"Sinn Féin supports fair rent controls. This will not solve the problem and is needed as part of a package of initiatives to help to ease the housing crisis. Renters who are now facing homelessness cannot wait for more social housing to come on stream and so rent control is needed as a matter of priority.

"People have already lost their homes because of rent increases. We need to stop this from happening in the future.

"The state needs to step in to stop rack renting and to ensure that rents are set at a fair level which takes into account the Consumer Price Index and the quality of the accommodation. Along with significant investment in housing as outlined by Sinn Féin during recent debates in the Dáil we can begin to really tackle housing need and bring rents under control."

"We do not believe that raising the rent supplement will solve the problem and in fact it could very easily have the opposite effect of raising rents across the board. Groups like Simon and Peter McVerry Trust are genuine in their intention to stop the flow of tenants into homelessness but we believe rent controls are the fastest and most effective way to do this."


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