Housing crisis 'spiralling out of control' in Laois/Offaly

Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly Brian Stanley has demanded that the Minister for Housing ‘take emergency action to tackle run away rents’ in Laois and Offaly.

Deputy Stanley said: "It is clear that there is a growing housing emergency in Laois and Offaly. The latest Daft.ie rent report has set a new record. In the last 12 months, new rents have increased by an average of 15% in Laois to €1,282 a month or €15,384 a year, and 16.2% in Offaly, €1,257 a month or €15,084 a year.

Stanley said these huge sums are clearly unaffordable for the vast majority of people in Laois or Offaly.

"The housing crisis is spiralling out of control and must be stopped.’’

“According to the Daft.ie research, its much cheaper to get a mortgage than to rent. The problem for many people renting is that they can’t save for a deposit on a home to get a mortgage.

"It’s clear that the Rent Pressure Zones are not limiting rent increases to 2% a year, they are not working in Laois and Offaly’’.

“Minister O’Brien needs to take emergency action and tackle run away rents. This means a three-year ban on rent increases and a properly designed refundable tax credit to put a month's rent back into every private renter's pocket.

"It also means increasing and accelerating the delivery of genuinely affordable cost rental homes.

"Not only are the Government's affordable cost rental targets too low, they aren’t even meeting these. Less than 500 cost-rental homes are expected to be available this year. The schemes are badly designed and too much bureaucracy imposed on Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies is preventing the delivery of more homes at a faster pace.’’

"Shockingly, Minister Darragh O’Brien recently said that there is no housing emergency. Well, anyone reading the latest Daft.ie rent report would beg to differ. People affected by this crisis every day in Laois and Offaly would not agree with Minister O’Brien.

"Government should have supported the Sinn Féin motion in the Dáil this week declaring a housing emergency and they should be introducing emergency measures to help struggling renters. Renters can't be expected to keep waiting, they need to see action to tackle the housing crisis now."