Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said the Simon Community’s newly released report, ‘Locked out of the Market XI: The Gap Between Rent Supplement/Housing Assistance Payment levels’, highlights the reality of the rental crisis facing many families in Ireland today.

The Sinn Féin TD said:

“The story of Christmas, where a family is desperately seeking accommodation, is being played out right across Ireland again this year. The crisis for those stuck in rental accommodation is getting worse and all the government initiatives are failing miserably to impact on soaring rent prices. The number of people who are homeless is therefore continuing to grow.

“According to the Simon report there were 8,500 men, women, and children stuck in emergency accommodation in October 2017 and they are all being prevented from leaving homelessness behind as they have literally nowhere else to go. The report found that 91.5% of rental properties are unavailable to those in receipt of Rent Supplement/HAP.

“In a stark illustration of how bad the renting crisis is, the Simon Community researchers could not find a property available to rent within RS/HAP limits for a single person and just two were available for couples. Yet 44% of people on the social housing waiting list are single and do not currently have dependants or children in their care.

“In the absence of being able to afford to actually buy a home, the private rental market is becoming peoples’ only option to secure accommodation. The awful reality is that the 3,286 single people currently stuck in emergency accommodation have little or no hope of securing a rental accommodation or a home barring a miracle this Christmas.

“Full rent certainty and security of tenure are the building blocks for a stable rental sector and I am joining with Simon in their call for their urgent introduction. Those trapped in emergency accommodation need affordable homes with supports available where needed. Critically, the State needs to urgently build more social and affordable homes at a realistic scale in order to end this crisis.”