Date Released: 30 October 2015
SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor has said that a well-designed system of rent controls can help to stem the tide of homelessness in Ireland.
“Ireland is experiencing a housing crisis that is worsening each week with spiralling rents, homelessness, long-term mortgage arrears, home repossessions and shortages of social housing and private rental accommodation all intensifying in severity,” Jack O’Connor said.
The SIPTU president said that a well-designed system of rent controls, based on the best practice of other countries, can help stem the tide of rising homelessness, which affects over 700 families including over 1,500 children who are currently in emergency accommodation.
“Such a system should be introduced for at least a three year period until housing supply begins to meet demand. The argument that rent certainty would undermine investment in the private residential sector simply does not stand up.
“Many other European countries have had such systems in place for many years, indeed decades, and have seen solid and sustainable investment in the rental sector at the same time. The argument against rent control also flies in the face of advice from bodies such as the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and the OECD which have acknowledged that increased rent regulation can have a positive impact on the private rented sector.
“Despite the increasing urgency of Ireland’s housing crisis, a fundamentally dishonest debate is still taking place on this issue solely to facilitate some of the worst kind of profiteering on the back of people’s misery.
“The Government must now introduce without any further delay a well-designed system of rent controls so as to reduce the number of families losing their homes each week,” Jack O’Connor said.