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Galway Simon Community have responded to the latest Daft.ie rental report released today saying that renters in Galway are faced with an unstable market which many are being ‘locked out’ of.
According to the latest Daft.ie report, average rent prices in Galway have risen by 15.9% in the city to €1,189 and 10.2% in the county to €807, since the previous year. The average rent prices in the city are now increasing at almost four times the Rent Pressure Zone cap of 4% annually.
Karen Golden, CEO of Galway Simon Community, said that things cannot continue the way they are and that social housing build must be a main priority for Government.
“The simple truth is that renting in Galway for a lot of people is unaffordable and it’s unfair that there are no other options available to them. The cost of renting in Galway is continuing to increase month after month, to the point where we’re now looking at an average rent for a 1-bed property in Galway City of €848. This is double what most people can afford to pay and for those on Rent Supplement or HAP, it’s a gap of €273 in what they are entitled to under the limits, but they have no other options available to them. The current market rents are unrealistic for many and are quite literally pushing people into homelessness,” Karen said.
Rent Pressure Zone measures that are in place are supposed to see rents capped at 4% annually. However, this is clearly not the reality according to the Daft report which states annual increases of nearly 16% in Galway City and 11% in Galway County. The local charity say that the Government cannot rely on the private rental market to deliver social housing targets.
“Minister Eoghan Murphy set targets for the local authorities in Galway to deliver 931 social housing units by the end of 2018, the majority of which (72%/668 units) are to be delivered through HAP and RAS tenancies in the private rental sector. However, we saw from the last four Locked Out studies by the Simon Communities that there were no properties available to rent in Galway within the Rent Supplement/HAP limits over the study periods,” Karen said.
“The supply of affordable housing just isn’t there in the private rental market and we fail to see how these targets are going to be achieved by the end of the year with the current market. The only real solution at the moment is for new social housing to be brought into the housing stock, whether it’s through Local Authority builds or acquisition, we simply need more affordable housing in Galway. Until this happens, more and more people are faced with the huge pressure of these high rents and are being forced into homelessness”, Karen added.
Friday 17th August 2018