The new Government must declare a "housing emergency" in Galway city and implement "immediate measures" to tackle rental inflation, which is leading to rental costs increasing much faster in Galway than they are in Dublin.
This is the view of Sinn Féin's councillor Mairead Farrell, who was reacting to a new Daft.ie report which shows that rents rose across the State by an average of 9.3 per cent in the past 12 months.
The report highlighted how, for the first time since May 2008, the average rent across the State is €1,006. According to Cllr Farrell, Galway city is one of the areas most affected by soaring increases in private rental costs, having endured a 12.7 per cent increase in rents from this time last year - the fourth largest increase out of 35 regions in the Republic. The average rent in Galway city is now €900 and County Galway has the most expensive rental costs in Connacht at an average of €618.
Cllr Farrell is calling on the incoming Government, and the new Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, to make this an area of priority and to tackle rent inflation. However she has been unimpressed so far with the new administration's proposals.
“The Government’s draft Programme for Government did not reference any form of rent certainty or rent controls as being viable tools to provide some security for tenants," she said. "Minister Coveney must revisit this omission and introduce real rent certainty. This is already a major cause of concern for families and individuals across Galway."
Cllr Farrell is calling for rent increases and decreases to be linked to the Consumer Price Index. She also wants to see housing assistance payment rates adjusted in line with current market rents.