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O'Sullivan eyes ban on hefty rent hikes

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 Jan O'Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke

Jan O'Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke

Jan O'Sullivan. Photo: Tom Burke

RENT controls that would protect tenants from hefty price increases are being probed by the Government.

It's a system that exists in other countries, and it would ban landlords from increasing rents in excess of the consumer price index, which measures rises in the cost of living.

Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan (above) said one in five households are now renting their accommodation in the private sector, which is the biggest share of the housing market since the 1950s.

She said: "There is evidence of rents rising far in excess of the rate of inflation, particularly in the cities, suggesting a lack of supply in certain segments of the private rented sector."

Her department is exploring the possibilities for commissioning relevant policy research in this area, "including in regard to the potential role of rent controls".

Tackling the pressures on the the private rental sector is just one tool in the Government's armoury to tackle homelessness. It's now one year since the Government published its Homeless Policy Statement in which it set out its aim to end long-term homelessness by the end of 2016.

SHIFT

It has seen a shift away from past policy on homelessness which was driven by short-term measures.

Now it is adopting a "housing-led approach" whereby the emphasis is on accessing permanent housing as the primary response to all forms of homelessness.

fdillon@herald.ie


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