One In Every Nine People Worried About Losing Their Home According To Focus Ireland Report
A new Focus Ireland survey has revealed that one in every nine people are worried they will lose their home. The report also shows the growing pressure households are under to keep a roof over their heads as it shows that one third of people struggle to pay their rent or mortgage every month.
Focus Ireland said the new survey findings should be a wakeup call for the Government as it shows the public wants more direct action to tackle the national housing crisis as 82% support stronger Government regulation to control spiralling rents.
Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: “This survey confirms our view that we are dealing with a national crisis in housing and that this is not just a problem that effects only people on the margins of our society but one that is threatening the security of families and individuals homes right across our society.”
The survey also showed that there is overwhelming support for more Government action to tackle the crisis with 82% of people supporting stronger Government regulation to control spiralling rents. These findings come on the back of this week’s latest DAFT.ie report which shows the largest annual increase in rents ever recorded (13.5%) since the first DAFT.ie report in 2002.
Mr. Allen said: “Up until now we have seen Governments try to deal with this crisis with a series of incentives, supports and encouragements. They took years to respond to wave upon wave of massive rent increases which were making many thousands of people more insecure in their homes every month. “
He added: “The same Government policy approach is still being taken of leading with incentives and hoping they will work rather than taking the direct – and tough – policy decisions required to effectively tackle the national housing and homeless crisis.
Focus Ireland is worried that we have continued to see these “Halfway House” policies across critical issues such as action to get the large number of empty houses back into circulation. We have also seen this approach on issues such as the hoarding of development land and measures to protect tenants in cases of the foreclosures of buy-to-let properties. “
Focus Ireland also maintains that while the Government has taken some action by introducing the rent pressure zones to try and ease rising rents it is still unclear if this will be enough or indeed have any real impact. Mr. Allen said: “Our frontline staff are already dealing with cases where some unscrupulous landlords are ignoring the new rent cap and hiking up the rent while telling tenants they have two choices: To pay up or get out.” Focus Ireland said there needs to be effective penalties put in place to punish any landlords that are caught breaking the rent cap in a rent pressure zone.
Focus Ireland believes the findings of its new survey should send a clear message to the Government that the public demands more direct action in taking on the vested interests and ending the pain of this nationwide housing and homeless crisis. The survey was carried out by nfpSynergy in November 2016 on behalf of Focus Ireland. It involved a nationally representative sample of 1,000 (online) adults aged 16+ in Ireland.
The most recent figures show a record total of more than 7,148 people homeless in Ireland. Nationally there are now 4,643 adults and 2,505 children homeless meaning 1 in 3 people homeless in Ireland is a child. The total number of people homeless rose by 36% from December 2015 to December 2016.
Contact: Michelle Moran 086 468 0442