AAA-PBP group to bring forward measures that would start to alleviate the housing and rents crisis
At a press conference in Dáil Eireann today, TDs from the Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit grouping said that the measures to limit rent rises which were announced by Simon Coveney were a kite flying exercise and a masterclass in political spin.
Minister Coveney’s rent plan does not go far enough and will do nothing to alleviate the suffering of thousands in insecure rented accommodation who are struggling now with their existing rents.
While wages and social welfare levels continue to stagnate, and while wage rises for workers are resisted by the Government and employers, Coveney’s s plan will allow for rent rises of 4% per year at a time when inflation is near zero. Meantime landlords of new apartments or houses, or who renovate them will not be subject to rent controls. The measures are limited in time and place and contain too many opt out options for landlords.
The plan also only addresses rents in Dublin and Cork and does not take into account other counties. Rents in Limerick, for example, have risen 12% last year and by 11% in Galway.
AAA-PBP have three Bill that would go much further in alleviating the housing and rents crisis.
· Residential Tenancies (Housing Emergency Measures in the Public Interests) Bill 2016. A Bill to reduce rent levels to those pertaining in 2011, to enforce further rent controls and security of tenure measure’s in designated areas to deal with the current crisis and in the public good.
· NAMA (Amendment) Bill 2016. A bill to change the remit of the NAMA agency to prioritise the provision of social and affordable housing and to stop evictions from family homes and farms in the public interests.
· Anti Eviction Bill 2016. A Bill to ban the eviction of tenants on the grounds of sale of the property
“AAA-PBP has three Bills that would go much further than the punitive and, quite frankly, feeble measures contained in Minister Coveney’s rent announcement.
“In the future we will look to bring in measures that would legally reduce rents to 2011 levels, limit future rises to the Consumer Price Index, remove many of the grounds landlords use for terminating tenancies and massively increase the supply of social and public housing by using NAMA land and buildings.”
“Landlord’s profits have increased by €1.1billion over the last five years. This plan will continue to allow them to enrich themselves. The effect of the ‘rent predictability’ model will increase the profits of landlords in Dublin and Cork by 4% but will allow landlords in other areas to continue to jack up rents.
“In Dublin, the average rent is €1375, these measures will still allow a landlord to increase rents by €171.69 a month over three years meaning that rents will still be able to rise to €1546.99 by the end of the three year period. 4% is well above the rate of inflation and the CPI which are both negative in deflation. Will workers get wage rises to equal the 4% rental increases? It also doesn’t do anything for tenants in places which are seeing massive rent increases like Kildare, Wicklow and Meath which are seeing increases of 13-15% rather it will allow landlords to increase rent to Dublin prices.”
“Disgracefully, the plan outlines a proposal whereby state land is to be handed over to developers by councils to build properties for rent. This is an absolute gift to them. People want homes not to be stuck at the whim of a landlord. Lands like this should be used for the building of social and affordable housing rather than handed over to profit hungry developers.
“This is handing over of public lands to developers for nothing, who will then charge tenants through the nose.”
“The legislation published today will do nothing for people who are already priced out of the market. It will do nothing to stem the tide of homelessness. People will continue to be evicted because of rent increases – it actually makes it easier to evict tenants if they fall behind on their rent.
“AAA-PBP will move our Anti-Eviction 2016 Bill in January to ban tenants being evicted on the grounds of sale which is currently being used by landlords to force tenants out.”
Gino Kenny, TD for Dublin Mid-West, said “Once again, around one of the most serious issues facing our society, we have the Minister for Housing basically doing a PR job for private landlords in this country.”