Galway Simon Community has responded to the latest Daft.ie Report saying that the rental market in Galway is in a crisis state and the government needs to respond in order to ensure more people do not become homeless.

According to the Daft Q3 Rental Report, average rent in Galway City was recorded at €1,299 representing an almost 50% increase over a period of four years since Q3 2015. In the county, the situation is even worse with an average rent of €947, representing an increase of 55% over the four year period. The average rent for a four-bed house in Galway City is now at a record high of €1,397 and in Galway County is €975; another record high.

Karen Golden, CEO of Galway Simon Community highlighted the impact that the spiralling rents are having on people in Galway.

“We now have a situation where rents are almost completely out of reach for those relying on housing supports such as Housing Assistance Payments (HAP). As well as those on housing benefits, many other people are having their lives impacted by these ever increasing rents”, Karen said.

Concerns about the findings of the latest rental report were discussed this week in the Dail and it was recognised that people are being “trapped in high rent misery”. Demands were put forward for a rent freeze which were ruled out by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who said this would result in less supply.

Responding to this, Karen Golden said it is positive to see solutions being put forward in the Dail but that it is a disappointment to hear such solutions being ruled out without being explored further.

“It’s truly disappointing that the Government has not taken urgent action to tackle the crisis.  As rents continue to increase, so do the number of people experiencing homelessness.  Rents have increased by nearly 50% in Galway City over four years. In the same period, the number of people in the West of Ireland who are staying in Emergency Accommodation – hostels, B&Bs and hotels – has gone from 115 in September 2015 to 561 in September of this year, an increase of 387%. As time goes on, there are more and more signs of a worsening crisis and it’s quite clear that the measures that have been put in place to date have failed to deal with the crisis adequately. This crisis calls for serious action and the Government must be open to exploring as many solutions as possible to tackle the situation”, Karen said.

“We see in our frontline services every day people who are impacted by these extortionate rents, people who cannot afford to pay their other bills, or sometimes even buy food, because their rent cost is consuming the majority of their income. In dealing with this crisis on the ground, prevention is the most effective means to ensuring that more people do not become homeless. It is essential that increasing rents are addressed, in order to prevent homelessness”, Karen added.

Wednesday 13th November 2019