Tenants in Greystones are being hit with high rent costs due to discrepancies in how the Department of Health identifies rent pressure zones, Social Democrats Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has claimed.
Whitmore said: “A report published today by Daft.ie has again shown that rents in the area are spiraling out of control, with a 12 per cent increase in rents in the Greystones area, whilst county Wicklow sees an average of 11 per cent.”
“According to data that I have received from Daft.ie, this is the fourth quarter in a row that has seen a 10 per cent or above increase in rents in the Greystones area, yet the Department’s figures are not reflecting that reality for renters.”
“For example, the data that the Department used to identify areas to come under the rent caps showed that there was a 3.9% decrease in rents in Qrt 2, 2016. I find it very difficult to believe that there has been any reduction in rents in the area over the past three or four years in North Wicklow. I have raised it repeatedly with the Minister that I believe that the figure is incorrect. In fact, corresponding Daft.ie data shows a 6 per cent increase in rents in the area for that quarter.”
“This anomaly meant that the Greystones District missed out on being included in rent pressures zones and I ask that the Minister review this data immediately to determine why there are such discrepancies.”
Whitmore continued “At a time when 17 per cent of the homeless population is in employment, we really need to ask how we can make accommodation more affordable. The Minister needs to apply the 4 per cent rent cap in Greystones immediately. It is simply not good enough that renters are going to be forced away from their home places, communities where their children go to schools, and their support networks because of spiraling rent costs.”