Offaly renters hit with 'perfect storm' in dysfunctional market
Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has that a lack of housing supply, the crisis in forestry and the increased cost of timber, as well as the ongoing actions of vulture funds are all contributing to what she has termed "a perfect storm" that is severely impacting renters within the constituency.
Deputy Nolan was speaking during a Dáil debate on the rental market in which the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien accepted that rents have reached levels that put ‘real families and real people under incredible pressure throughout the country.’
“The defining issue for an entire generation is housing and increasing rents. Indeed, I would say that it is a far more defining issue than all of the talk about climate policy because of the way in which it personally affects so many people in the here and now," Deputy Nolan said.
"We are all aware the current rates of rent are unsustainable for most working families, including those who rely on HAP and other payments.
"A recent analysis of trends in the residential sales market showed the biggest year-on-year increase was in my county of Offaly. I did not need to be told that by the survey because I knew it from the volume of calls I receive into my offices all the time.
"We also have a situation in County Laois where the year-on-year increase is at least 10%.
"Many people are trapped in the rental sector because of the lack of action on our forestry crisis. Young couples cannot build homes because of the crisis and the cost of timber and that forces them to remain in the rental sector.
"We also have an ongoing situation where vulture funds are effectively unregulated and can do as they please with people in terms of repossession of homes. That is forcing droves of people into the rental market.
"The Government needs to be proactive, more compassionate and to take action on regulation of vulture funds and sorting out the mess in our forestry sector.
"I am aware that in two towns in my constituency, Tullamore and Edenderry, renters are paying well over €1,000 per month. That is not sustainable or right. It was an issue before the pandemic, is still an issue and is becoming a crisis. I ask the Government to take urgent action because I see the suffering and hardship of my constituents in Laois-Offaly,” concluded Deputy Nolan.
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