November 12, 2019
Fine Gael’s rent crisis failing families and young people – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said the  government is failing families and young people due to their inaction to tackle spiralling rents, and accused Fine Gael of “offered nothing to deal with the crisis already facing renters.”

The comments come as the latest report today that shows for rents have risen for the 14th Quarter in a row.

Speaking at leaders’ questions today where he raised the matter with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;

“Taoiseach, in Cork the average rent is now €1,372. In Dublin, it is now over €2,000 per month.

“This crisis is crushing workers and families. €2,000 a month equates to in excess of €24,000 a year just to put a roof over your head, never mind the cost of food, or insurance or sending kids to school.

“It’s the same story in Galway, Limerick, Waterford, anywhere across the State – sky-high rents and no action.

“As shocking as these figures are, the reality is they reflect the hardship ordinary people are facing.

“They are the mother with two kids facing homelessness because her landlord has just hiked up her rent. They are the young person desperately rifling through to find something, anything even remotely affordable within commuting distance to work.

“They are the couple who have no chance of saving up for a deposit on their own home.

“A whole generation are being locked out of ever having a permanent home.

“The Taoiseach is making a lot of the fact that the rate of increase in rent is slowing. What he is saying to people is that you aren’t drowning as fast as you were last month, but you are still drowning and it’s going to get worse.

“Fine Gael and their Government partners in Fianna Fáil have done nothing to reduce the cost of rents or to protect tenants from further rent increases.

“What these figures show clearly, more than anything else, is that your policies are not working. Fine Gael are normalising this crisis and normalising homelessness.

“Social and affordable housing must be built to a scale radical enough to address the housing crisis.

“We welcome the u-turn from Fianna Fáil that they want to see a rent freeze, a position we have long advocated and included in our alternative budget this year.

“Sinn Féin want to give renters an emergency three-year rent freeze and provide a tax break equal to one month’s rent.

“These are two crucial measures that would make a real, substantial difference for those struggling with sky-high rents.”

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