Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson and Wicklow TD Pat Casey has confirmed to the Dáil that it was Fianna Fáil that have ensured that Wicklow will be assessed as a matter of urgency in January in relation to qualifying for the new 4% rent cap.
North Wicklow in particular has rents that are on a par with the Dublin Metropolitan area and must be included, the Wicklow TD stated.
Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Casey “The Rental sector is not working and is in crisis as we know and is a significant element of the Housing problem. Less than a year ago Fine Gael refused point blank to consider rent controls when Minister Alan Kelly attempted them. It is through the work of Fianna Fáil that Fine Gael have finally conceded and began to act with the 4% cap.”
“If these caps are not proven to work and work quickly, Fianna Fáil is prepared to bring forward our own measures to bring greater certainty for tenants. We also strongly believe that there needs to be tax incentives for landlords to relieve the considerable pressures on them.”
“Rent controls need to be measured with keeping rental supply up. I agree that by definition this is a delicate balancing act.”
“The vast majority of landlords are responsible and anxious to keep their tenants. I am not going to demonise landlords for short term political gain. 88% of landlords only own a single property and we need to transition from this unsustainable model.”
Deputy Casey continued “Today is an historic first – these are the first rent certainty measures in the history of the State. Fianna Fáil will continue to listen to the people and put their needs first.”
“We are solely focused on getting housing solutions delivered, as best we can, in the circumstances we find ourselves in. We are not interested in grandstanding gestures or personalised name calling. Those deputies that continue to follow this failed politics are condemning themselves.”
“I welcome that the Minister has conceded that the major cities of Galway, Waterford and Limerick along with Commuter counties of Wicklow, Meath, Kildare and Louth need to be assessed urgently and that this will take place in January. Because of our work up to 100,000 homes will now be protected against out of control rent increases. It is a start. We need to build on that.”
“I have some reservations about the Rental Pressure Zones. The Minister is claiming that the data is not available to create rental pressure zones outside major urban centres. Having used the RTB site regularly I contend that it is possible to clearly identify area that have increases that meet the criteria. Commuter belt towns such as Bray, Greystones can clearly be seen as having unsustainable rent increases.”
“In relation to the local authority area criteria it must be remembered that large rural towns are suffering from rent pressures but that these are offset by their surrounding rural areas where rents are obviously lower. Commuter towns in particular need to be analysed here such as Wicklow, Arklow and Blessington. The local area plans can be focused on these towns surely a rent control could be applied on that basis also.”
“I repeat my assertion that the members of this House will be judged on their actions in relation to the Housing crisis. This is the first bill to give effect to Housing Crisis. There will need to be more”, concluded Deputy Casey.