Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn have urged TDs in Donegal to back their party’s call for the government to immediately introduce an emergency three-year ban on rent increases.
The party’s Dáil motion on the issue will be debated this evening.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, is also calling on government to put a full month’s rent back in every private renter’s pocket and increase supply of affordable properties to rent and buy.
Teachta Padraig Mac Lochlainn said: “Families, workers and young people deserve and need secure and affordable housing, and affordable rents.
“Yet last week’s report from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) told us what we all knew – that there has been a shocking increase in rents across Donegal under the watch of this Government.
“Incredibly in Donegal, new renters are paying almost 30% more each month than existing tenants.
“Since Government took office, rents in Donegal have risen a staggering 70%.
“Sinn Féin’s proposal to cut rents and freeze them would have prevented these increases.
“Fine Gael have been in Government for 12 years, and Fianna Fáil have been propping them up for seven years. But what these figures further underline is that neither party cares about renters.
“The housing crisis continues to go from bad to worse under their watch, rents are at an all-time high and rising, and the Government has missed the social and affordable housing targets three years in a row.
“They tell us they are making an impact on housing. Unfortunately, that impact is just putting affordable housing and affordable rents further out of reach for people.
“Is it any wonder that so many of our young people who cannot afford this level of rent are emigrating?”
Deputy Doherty added that TDs in Donegal have the opportunity to show they are on the side of struggling renters by supporting Sinn Féin’s motion.
He said that the rent freeze and one-month refund are immediate steps that government can take, adding that “only a change of government, a change of housing policy and Eoin Ó Broin as Housing Minister will allow us to start cleaning up the mess of decades of bad Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael housing policy.”