Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said that the latest Residential Tenancies Board rent report shows ‘rents continuing to rise despite the Government spin’ confirming ‘the need for an emergency three year rent reduction and freeze’.
Deputy Ó Broin said: “The Quarter4 Residential Tenancies Board rent index shows rents continuing to rise despite the Government spin.
“Every single county in the state has seen their rents rise in the last 12 months by more than 4%.
“Nine counties have seen rent increases double the 4% cap with Kerry, Offaly, Westmeath and Clare seeing double digit increases.
“Across the state, rents increased by 6.4%, while in cities the increases were also significantly above the 4% cap. In Dublin, the increase was 5%, Cork 6.8%, Galway 5.7% and Waterford 7%.
“These increases represent real financial burdens on low and modest income renters – and that was before the COVID-19 surge in unemployment.
“No doubt Government will spin that the quarter on quarter reductions show signs that Rent Pressure Zones are working. The very opposite is the case. We now have three full years of Rent Pressure Zone failure. The game is up.
“The latest figures confirm again the need for an emergency three-year rent reduction and freeze. This could be achieved by extending the current freeze and, in Budget 2021, providing for a refundable tax credit to put a month’s rent back into every renter’s pocket.
“We also need the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to meet with opposition politicians and representatives from tenants, landlords and banks to put in place a plan to deal with the rent arrears debt burden that will arise during the COVID-19 restrictions.”