Views of two renters on housing crisis


Sir, – In the Dáil, after Sinn Féin called for a three-year rent freeze, our Government failed again to protect renters, choosing instead to line the pockets of those already on the property ladder.

Our Tánaiste replied in landlords’ defence: “One person’s rent is another person’s income – it might be their pension, it might be their mortgage.”

Unfortunately, this statement has a rather different meaning for the renters, such as myself, he was referring to.

As a young person, I am faced with the disheartening possibility of never being able to own the home I live in.

Although I’ve been successful in my career so far, like many others my age, I find myself eating the same food day in and out from my freezer, picking up pennies in the street and never daring to look in the direction of anything without a big red sticker. Every month, working and saving, and yet at the end of it all, my income disappears down a big, black hole called “rent”.

Leo Varadkar was right in his statement: one person’s rent is indeed another person’s livelihood. It’s a renter’s ticket to life they want and deserve to live. It’s the future pension that we should be saving for. It’s the mortgage downpayment for the house we want to live in.

If renters continue to pay for their landlords’ mortgage and pension, how will we ever afford our own?

How will renters ever set foot on the property ladder, when landlords are already using us as the rungs?

– Yours, etc,


A chara, – As a 30-year-old aspiring homeowner, I was disheartened to read David McWilliams’s article on holding-off buying a home (Opinion, September 4th). Since this article was published, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has pledged his allegiance to landlords, and South Dublin County Council gave away, for free, 16 hectares of land to a consortium of developers.

So what exactly is McWilliam’s solution to not buying? Do my partner and I financially cripple ourselves renting a home for ourselves in Dublin city for significantly more money than our monthly mortgage repayments would be?

Or do we rent a room we can afford, sharing a house with a half dozen other people in a similar position? Or do we leave the county, and rent in an affordable area of Ireland with no public transport, where we cannot commute to work without owning a car on which we would have to pay extortionate insurance prices, given our age?

Perhaps we should continue living with my parents in the hope that the housing market does indeed collapse, in the misplaced hope that the Government will eventually do the right thing despite evidence to the contrary?

Or perhaps, we simply bide our time and wait until both my parents die and then we can just continue living in their house, like we currently do? If Mr McWilliams could provide a solution with as much confidence as he advises us not to buy, that would be greatly appreciated.

– Le meas,


Sandymount, Dublin 4.