Seanad debates

Friday, 12 February 2021

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Fintan WarfieldFintan Warfield (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

Today's Order Paper contains a Sinn Féin motion, No. 11 in non-Government motions, that seeks to end the nightmare that is facing renters across the State. Many thought the pandemic would ease the dysfunctional private rental sector but it has not done so. We should all focus on ending that crisis and making life that bit easier for hard-working renters who are finding it difficult at this time.

The number of inspections of rental properties carried out by local authorities needs to be increased and we have legislation ready that will ban the advertising of unfit properties. The previous Seanad debated that legislation. The motion also sets out the data and the facts presented by various housing organisations and charities, from sky-high rents in all our cities and towns, to substandard rental accommodation and the slow pace of building affordable cost-rental accommodation. We need to place a figure on what affordable rent is. We are all going around talking about what affordable rent is but as of yet, that has not been defined. It is remarkable that we do not have a figure on that to give people hope that their salaries would earn them decent and safe housing and a good quality of life. We keep hearing from the Government about various laws around housing. Will they make a material difference to the lives of people struggling to make ends meet? We need legislation that addresses how people leave the market and what situation that leaves renters in. I look forward to that debate. That motion is on the Order Paper and I invite the Government parties to study it and act upon it.


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