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Published on: Galway Simon Community News

Galway Simon call on Government to urgently build housing

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Friday 4th May 2018

Galway Simon Community have said that the private rental market in Galway is inaccessible and are calling on the Government to urgently start building social and affordable housing in Galway. According to the latest report released today, average rent prices in Galway have risen by 13.6% in the city and 10.4% in the county since last year.

Emma Dolan, Head of Client Services at Galway Simon Community said rent prices in Galway are out of control and people are having to sacrifice basic necessities to keep up with rent payments.

“The average rent in Galway City for a 3-bed house is €1,125 and for a working family or single parent this is a huge amount to pay out of their own wages, especially when they are a low or middle income earner. Often they are forced to choose between their rent and other necessities, and an unexpected bill can quite literally send them into a downward spiral towards homelessness. Also, for anyone relying on housing support benefits which, more often than not, don’t cover the full cost of rent, these people have to foot the bill for the difference.”

“Even at the lower end of the scale, rent for a 1-bed apartment is now an average of €834 in Galway City. How is anyone expected to be able to maintain this on a middle or low income? It’s not feasible”.

In just a year, average rent prices in the city have gone up as much as €140, with an overall average rent price in Galway now of €1,131 in the city and €777 in the county. Emma commented on this saying “the rate of rent increases in Galway and across the country is simply not sustainable for those on the other end having to pay these rents. Let’s not forget these are average prices, there are properties going for much higher than these averages,” Emma added.

Galway Simon Community are calling on the Government to honour their existing commitments in the Rebuilding Ireland Plan and to accelerate the building of social and affordable housing in Galway.

“It’s very clear that the Rent Pressure Zone measures put in place have not worked. What we have is a supply issue and that is why people are having to stay in the rental sector. We also have hundreds of people stuck in emergency accommodation and homeless services in Galway that have nowhere to move on to because of the lack of supply and affordability in the private rental sector. We need the council to build social and affordable housing now, not in years to come,” Emma said.