Thursday 23 May 2019

Amy Molloy: 'Steps taken to address crisis have not worked'

The news that rental availability is at its lowest ever level won't come as a surprise to anyone, least of all those currently hunting for a home. Stock photo: PA
The news that rental availability is at its lowest ever level won't come as a surprise to anyone, least of all those currently hunting for a home. Stock photo: PA
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The news that rental availability is at its lowest ever level won't come as a surprise to anyone, least of all those currently hunting for a home.

A friend recently returned to Dublin after more than four years living in London and now finds herself regretting the decision. We were due to meet for dinner last Thursday but she had to cancel after getting a call about a property viewing in Drimnagh.

This was the first time any landlord contacted her, after more than a month of searching for somewhere to live.

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"Is it an OK area do you know? I'm going to go as nobody else has replied," she texted. The fact she doesn't even know where Drimnagh is, or that it's about an hour's commute to her workplace, doesn't seem to matter at this stage.

The Dublin rental market she left in 2015 wasn't perfect - but she's returning to a different beast altogether. The capital is now among the top five most expensive places to live in Europe - even dearer than London.

The Government harps on about wanting expats to return home, promising Ireland's prodigal children that the economy is better now. But while there are more jobs available, there are fewer houses to rent than ever before.

Dublin Airport may soon have to put a "no room at the inn" sign at the arrivals gate. Daft.ie says there were just 2,700 properties available nationwide as of May 1. And how many of those properties are even affordable - or of a liveable standard?

On Daft.ie's website you'll see sheds in back gardens advertised for €1,000-a-month and the option to share a bed with someone for €250.

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 hotel bedrooms were under construction in the first quarter of this year.

It seems accommodating the profitable tourism sector is more important than housing those who want to live here.

Once again the stats show how difficult it is being a renter in modern-day Ireland - and how the Housing Minister's self-described 'radical' steps to address the housing crisis haven't worked.

Irish Independent

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