Nothing in Budget for Renters – Frank O’Rourke

Fianna Fáil General Election Candidate for Kildare North Cllr Frank O’Rourke says he is disappointed that the Government has not introduced new measures in the budget to tackle the soaring cost of rent.

Cllr O’Rourke pointed out that the Government has done nothing to achieve rent certainty, despite Minister Alan Kelly committing just days ago to introduce new measures to that effect.

“It’s disappointing to see that the Government still isn’t taking the housing and rental crisis seriously. The latest figures show that rents have increased by 9% around the country and over 13% in Kildare since January alone. People in rented accommodation are struggling to meet persistently rising rents. Rents in Kildare could rise significantly over the next year due to the Fine Gael and Labours failure to introduce rent certainty measures,” said Cllr O’Rourke.

“The explosion in the cost of renting is as a result of the inability of this Government to take any policy action to address the growing housing emergency. The decision not to increase the rent supplement through this budget will simply put more families at risk of becoming homeless. Fianna Fáil has been pushing for an increase in rent supplements to help keep families in their homes, but unfortunately Fine Gael and Labour have decided to leave renters to fend for themselves.”

“It makes little sense for the Government to leave the rent supplement unchanged when you consider this will force more people into emergency accommodation, which in turn costs the state significantly and causes untold damage and disruption to families. It’s a nonsensical approach and sums up this Governments haphazard response to the housing emergency.”

“The lack of commitment to investing in housing is also extremely alarming. Fine Gael and Labour only delivered 11 new social housing units between 2011 and 2014. This has caused a national housing emergency with over 6,000 people stuck on housing waiting lists in Kildare alone. These people expected the Government to deliver a radical home building programme, but this has not happened.”

“Fianna Fáil has unveiled a series of ambitious measures to tackle the housing and rental crisis. Our ‘Generation Rent – A New Deal for Rents’ policy document sets out a clear pathway to assisting families who are experiencing housing difficulties.”

“Our Rent Certainty measures would reduce rent rises by restricting rents to area-based rental index both within and between tenancies. Our proposals would encourage long term leases to give tenants greater security in their occupancy and to allow families to consider renting as a longer term option.”

“Fianna Fáil’s rent policy also confronts the homeless emergency by raising the rent supplement and keeping it under review. This would ensure new properties are opened up for vulnerable households. Critically it addresses the central long-term issue of supply and complements our national housing roadmap launched last April which outlined our plan to build 150,000 new homes by 2021,” said Cllr O’Rourke.

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