Housing charity warns of looming crisis due to increasing cost of rental accommodation

More than 50 per cent of rent supplement recipients top up their rent, charity says

 Aideen Hayden, chairwoman of housing charity Threshold,  said rents “are rising very significantly, particularly at the bottom end of the market”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Aideen Hayden, chairwoman of housing charity Threshold, said rents “are rising very significantly, particularly at the bottom end of the market”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Thu, Jan 2, 2014, 01:00


Housing charity Threshold has called on the Government to act in the face of what it believes is a rental crisis in Ireland.

Aideen Hayden, chairwoman of the organisation, said rents “are rising very significantly, particularly at the bottom end of the market”.

Ms Hayden also said a forthcoming study carried out by the charity would show more than 50 per cent of people receiving rent supplement from the State are topping up their rent because they cannot access housing without paying more than the State contribution.

She said a much greater emphasis on bringing construction back to normal levels was needed to address housing requirements, but in the meantime the Government had to act to prevent people from being displaced from their homes.

‘Losing their homes’
“We are seeing a looming housing crisis with a very significant number of people at risk of losing their homes,” she said.

Her comments came after Minister of State for Housing Jan O’Sullivan said she believed the rental market in Ireland should be regulated. The Minister suggested the price of rented accommodation should be capped in line with the cost of living, a practice which operates in some European countries.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Ms O’Sullivan said: “There is a problem on the cost of private renting. We should look other countries where rents are related to increases in consumer price indexes, where rents can’t be increased more than cost of living increases.”

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