The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) has said that the figures published today showing a year on year increase in rents of 10.4% are extremely worrying.
Last year SVP members provided assistance to a growing number of families struggling to keep pace with unsustainable rents.
Kieran Stafford, SVP National President said, “Today’s report confirms the experience of SVP members of the mounting scale and reach of the rental crisis, which is clearly no longer confined to Dublin.
Across the country our volunteers are supporting more and more households who have received either notices to quit from their landlords, or who have been told their rents are going to increase. The threat of homelessness that such households face places them under incredible stress. The continued trend of escalating rent also results in many families often putting up with unsuitable and poor-quality accommodation. For most families, their priority is stay in their home, and this can mean they cut back on essential like food, clothing and heating. Volunteers in other cities like Limerick and Cork are increasingly having to provide assistance to families living in hotels and B&Bs, and this is a direct result of the dramatic increase in rents in these areas”.
The daft.ie report also highlighted that the availability of properties, with just over 3,100 properties available for rent across the country, was at an all-time low.
‘This further puts increasing pressure on families relying on the rental sector. Those on low income, and lone parent families are particularly affected as they find it increasingly impossible to find rented accommodation within their price range’, said Kieran Stafford
The daft.ie report is also published as the Children's Rights Alliance Report Card 2018 gave Government an E grade for their track record on protecting children from homelessness.
Jennifer Thompson, SVP Social Policy Officer said that “Both reports clearly demonstrate that enhanced and expanded tenancy protection and rent certainty measures are urgently needed to mitigate the risk of homelessness. This means in the first instance strengthened monitoring and enforcement measures by the Residential Tenancies Board, including of the Rent Pressure Zones and eviction notices.
Ultimately, however, we need an increased supply of social and affordable housing. The continued reliance on the private rented sector is not sustainable and we need to reverse the current targets, which seek to meet two thirds of social housing need through the private rental sector. It is also time to move on the Constitutional Convention’s recommendation to introduce a right to housing”.