Focus Ireland calls for 'generation rent' to be saved amid poorly regulated rental sector

ireland
Focus Ireland Calls For 'Generation Rent' To Be Saved Amid Poorly Regulated Rental Sector Focus Ireland Calls For 'Generation Rent' To Be Saved Amid Poorly Regulated Rental Sector
Focus Ireland has warned that rising rents and the cost of living has left thousands of people at a tipping point between home and homelessness. Photo: PA Images
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Focus Ireland has called for 'generation rent' to be saved as Ireland has been cited as one of the most poorly regulated rental sectors in western Europe.

Dr Richard Waldron, of Queens University Belfast, presented research findings from his article ‘Generation Rent and Housing Precarity in ‘Post Crisis’ Ireland’ on Wednesday as part of Focus Ireland’s monthly Lunchtime Talks.

Dr Waldron's research found the number of households in the rental sector with children has surged by 272 per cent among couples and 137 per cent among lone parents with children.

Furthermore, security of tenure and the length of leases were both found to be key concerns for renting families.

Those aged 30-44 were found to be the largest age group of renters, an increase of 191 per cent in ten years.

The research also cites how the experience of housing uncertainty is widespread with between 72-77 per cent of renters having experienced some degree of uncertainty between 2008 and 2016.

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Meanwhile, capital expenditure by Government on social housing construction was severely curtailed from €1.4 billion in 2008 to just €167 million in 2014.

'Unforgiving'

Commenting on the research, Focus Ireland director of advocacy Mike Allen said: “The timely piece of analyses from Dr Waldron shows how stark and prolonged the rental crisis is.

“When the economic crash hit in 2008, we witnessed thousands of young people forced to leave the country due to a lack of jobs.

“We are now again facing further emigration as ‘generation rent’ are left with a scarcity of secure accommodation in Ireland.

“For the last 14 years, we have seen repeated Government prioritise the interests of landlords instead of tenants’ rights who been priced out of housing markets,” he added.

“The most unforgiving of this crisis is the sheer number of children and families who are on the verge of homelessness due to the unstable housing sector.

“Meanwhile, there are 2,500 children who are homeless with their families and most lost their homes in the rental sector due to rocketing rents, insecurity of tenure and the rising cost of living.

“This analysis rightly cites Rory Hearne’s assertion that the security of tenure and the length of leases are key concerns for renting families.

“However, Irish tenancies are typically arranged on an annual basis, often with upward rent reversions imposed at the end of each year.

“This article also states there is also long-standing issues with lack of enforcement and penalties for landlords who break lease agreements or let poor quality accommodation.”

Focus Ireland has warned that rising rents and the cost of living has left thousands of people at a tipping point between home and homelessness.

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