Rent controls are "urgently needed" in Galway" to deal with the shortage in the housing supply that is causing "worry and stress" for families across the city and is impacting on both the private and social housing sectors.
This is the view of Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan who said "rent hikes are a huge issue" in Galway as the city experiences "a perfect storm" in terms of housing; a collapse in the construction sector; increased demand in the rental sector; lack of existing supply as Galway did not overbuild during the Celtic Tiger; and inadequate numbers of social housing units.
Dep Nolan said the situation has resulted in renters coming under increased pressure as demand is not being met with supply. This pressure then spills over into the social housing sector as tenants are forced to look for assistance from local authorities.
The Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, is due to bring proposals to the Cabinet in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, Dep Nolan said the introduction of measures such as temporary rent controls, or rent certainty measures "would help stabilise the rental market in the interim and give people some breathing space as solutions start to come onstream".
Dep Nolan said: "Ultimately, a viable, vibrant and regulated housing market is needed. This time, however, it has to be one which will last and provide stability to individuals and families across Galway."