A new Focus Ireland survey has revealed that one in every nine people are worried they will lose their home. The report also shows the growing pressure households are under to keep a roof over their heads as it shows that one third of people struggle to pay their rent or mortgage every month.
Focus Ireland said the new survey findings should be a wake-up call for the Government as it shows the public wants more direct action to tackle the national housing crisis as 82% support stronger Government regulation to control spiralling rents.
Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy, Mike Allen, said: “This survey confirms our view that we are dealing with a national crisis in housing and that this is not just a problem that effects only people on the margins of our society but one that is threatening the security of families and individuals homes right across our society.”
Call for more Government action over spiralling rents
The survey also showed that there is overwhelming support for more Government action to tackle the crisis with 82% of people supporting stronger Government regulation to control spiralling rents. These findings come on the back of this week’s latest DAFT.ie report which shows the largest annual increase in rents ever recorded (13.5%) since the first DAFT.ie report in 2002.
Mr. Allen said: “Up until now we have seen Governments try to deal with this crisis with a series of incentives, supports and encouragements. They took years to respond to wave upon wave of massive rent increases which were making many thousands of people more insecure in their homes every month.“
He added: “The same Government policy approach is still being taken of leading with incentives and hoping they will work rather than taking the direct – and tough – policy decisions required to effectively tackle the national housing and homeless crisis."
Rent pressure zones
Focus Ireland also maintains that while the Government has taken some action by introducing the rent pressure zones to try and ease rising rents it is still unclear if this will be enough or indeed have any real impact.
Mr. Allen said: “Our frontline staff are already dealing with cases where some unscrupulous landlords are ignoring the new rent cap and hiking up the rent while telling tenants they have two choices: To pay up or get out.”
Focus Ireland said there needs to be effective penalties put in place to punish any landlords that are caught breaking the rent cap in a rent pressure zone.
If you are struggling to pay your rent
You can use the Turn2us Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your background, circumstances and needs.
The following Republic of Ireland organisations may be able to give you further advice:
Money Advice and Budgeting Service which has a Keeping your home section on its website
Focus Ireland and Simon Communities of Ireland: Homelessness charities
You may also find it helpful to look at the Citizens Ireland website's information on housing
Source: Focus Ireland press release: One in every nine people worried about losing their home according to Focus Ireland report