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Government Must Address Rental Crisis in Offaly

Sinn Féin candidate for Tullamore LEA in the 2024 Local Elections, Aoife Masterson, has called for emergency action to address the rental crisis in Offaly.

The call came as the latest rent report shows rents increased by almost 17% in the last 12 months. This comes on top of recently released figures by the Residential Tenancies Board that show a 28% increase in eviction notices issued by landlords in April to June in Offaly.

She has urged the government to reintroduce the ban on no-fault evictions, ban rent increases for all existing and new tenancies for three years, and to put a full month's rent back into every private renter's pocket.

Ms Masterson said the latest rent report shows average new rents in Offaly increasing by over 17% in the last 12 months, with new rents now standing at a staggering €1,399.

"This is totally unaffordable for people on ordinary salaries in Offaly. People need a break from sky high rents now. Its clear that government has totally lost control of the housing market and has failed to deliver a sufficient volume of social and affordable homes."

She added that controversial policies such as Help to Buy and the Shared Equity Loan have '"pushed up house prices" while recently released RTB figures show a dramatic increase in eviction notices issued locally by landlords between April and June of this year. "The total number of notices in Offaly was a 55 - a 28% increase from January to March of this year" pointed out the Sinn Féin candidate.

"The government was wrong to end the ban on no-fault evictions, as they abandoned renters while having no plan in place to protect them. This has left people in Offaly facing the heartbreak and distress of losing their home" said Ms Masterson, who also called on the government to "immediately reintroduce the ban on no fault evictions until such time as the numbers of people in emergency accommodation starts to fall."

She said people in Offaly are "trapped paying out of control rents, or living in cramped accommodation while they watch their dream of home ownership continue to slip even further out of reach."

Fine Gael has been in government for 12 years. During that time rents in the State have increased by 155%. This government has failed renters in Offaly and across the State. They are out of touch and out of time. Our housing plan would deliver genuinely affordable homes for people to rent and buy in Offaly" said Aoife Masterson

This article first appeared in Offaly Independent on 21 Aug 2023

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