Rent increases in 2019 continued to cause hardship and homelessness - Threshold

General News

Threshold asks renters who believe their rents have increased over 4% in the last year, and who live in Rent Pressure Zones, to call them.

September 26 2019:  The housing charity Threshold has said the three percent increase in average rent in just one quarter revealed today by the Residential Tenancies Board shows that the affordability crisis in the Private Rental Sector is getting worse.

“The seven per cent annual increase is substantial, but the three per cent rise in just three months (April-June) suggests that we are going to see more and more people put at risk of homelessness as we head into the winter”, according to the CEO of Threshold John-Mark McCafferty. “Rising rent inflation at a time when over 10,000 are already homeless is a recipe for a worsening crisis.”

He welcomed the designation of two new rent pressure zones – in Carlow and Macroom – in recognition of the rapid pace of rent rises in both places. This designation means rents can only be increased by 4% per annum.  However according to Mr McCafferty: “Many tenants in RPZs have seen their rents rise beyond that limit.  For example, rents for renewed tenancies increased by 7.5% since Q2 2018. This indicates that the rent pressure zones rules continue to be flouted as sitting tenants face rent increase beyond the permitted 4%. We urge people who believe their rents have increased over 4% in the last year, and who live in RPZs, to call us on 1800 454 454.

Rent inflation is particularly high outside of Dublin at 7.7%. The greatest increases on a county level were in Laois, Offaly and Carlow telling us that this is not just an urban crisis but permeates the entire country. Many of the families that Threshold assists report that they struggle to budget for food, car insurance payments, monthly public transport costs, school related and other costs while trying to meet their rent payments in order to stay in their homes. These ongoing rent increases are unsustainable for many families.”

Threshold is calling for various affordable housing options. These include an increase in social housing supply and in both affordable rental and purchase. Alongside Rent Pressure Zones, these measures will help bring about long term affordability – and sustainability – in the rental sector.

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