Rent Prices are gone through the Roof, Students stand in line at Soup Kitchens to Feed Themselves, yet Bluffer O Brien is so Detached from Reality???

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Housing Minister: Landlords could sell up if hit with lower rent cap

 2 hrs ago


The Minister for Housing has defended the decision not to cap rent increases below 2%, saying it could have ‘unintended consequences’.© Provided by Extra.ie

Legislation was signed off by Cabinet on Thursday that will see rent hikes capped at 2% or the level of inflation, whichever is lower.

Darragh O’Brien said the decision is a ‘significant move’ that will affect about 75% of renters. The measure will apply to Rent Pressure Zones, and will apply to new and existing tenancies.The Minister for Housing has defended the decision not to cap rent increases below 2%, saying it could have ‘unintended consequences’. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Provided by Extra.ie The Minister for Housing has defended the decision not to cap rent increases below 2%, saying it could have ‘unintended consequences’. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

However, this new cap will only operate when general inflation is higher than 2%.

Minister O’Brien defended the plan on Thursday, saying that bringing in a lower cap could drive landlords out of the market. He said: ‘We need to make sure that the measures I bring forward are calibrations and are not going to lead to any unintended consequences of further flight from a rental market.’

Mr O’Brien rejected accusations that the decision not to lower the cap below 2% was linked to institutional investors. The Minister insisted he was not ‘remotely scared of institutional investors’ when asked why the cap was not lower than 2%.a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Minister O’Brien defended the plan on Thursday, saying that bringing in a lower cap could drive landlords out of the market. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Minister O’Brien defended the plan on Thursday, saying that bringing in a lower cap could drive landlords out of the market. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

He argued he has ‘banned bulk buying’ but that Ireland needs private investment. This referred to legislation that was passed in the summer which placed a 10% stamp duty on investors buying ten or more homes. It does not, however, apply to the bulk buying of apartments.

Minister O’Brien also denied the 2% cap will not have a big impact on renters who are struggling to save for a mortgage. ‘It does make a difference, frankly, when we’re seeing increases in areas of 7% and 8%,’ he argued.

‘Rents are too high and we need to bring them down.a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Darragh O’Brien rejected accusations that the decision not to lower the cap below 2% was linked to institutional investors. Pic: Fran Veale© Provided by Extra.ie Darragh O’Brien rejected accusations that the decision not to lower the cap below 2% was linked to institutional investors. Pic: Fran Veale

‘One of the ways we’re going to do it is through our affordability measures, through the new form of cost rental and increasing our social housing supply.’

Although the rent cap plan was signed off by Cabinet on Thursday, Mr O’Brien told reporters on Tuesday that it was coming. He denied that flagging it so far in advance would lead to landlords upping their rent. Minister O’Brien also argued there will be increased housing supply over the next number of years as we exit the COVID-19 pandemic.

He admitted the Government is going to be between 13,000 and 16,000 short of its housing targets this year.

‘I see 2022 as very much a year of delivery,’ he added.Eoin Ó Broin wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin called on the minister to scrap Rent Pressure Zones. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Provided by Extra.ie Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin called on the minister to scrap Rent Pressure Zones. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister O’Brien said he expects his rent caps Bill to be passed ‘in the coming weeks’. He also confirmed that the Cabinet had approved plans to introduce tenancies of indefinite duration on Thursday and that these will be published next Tuesday.

Minister O’Brien made the comments while visiting new 979-unit student accommodation development at UCD Belfield provided by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin called on the minister to scrap Rent Pressure Zones.a girl standing in front of a building: Labour senator Rebecca Moynihan said that the measure ‘does not go far enough to tackle the ‘unaffordable rents that are crippling renters’. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Provided by Extra.ie Labour senator Rebecca Moynihan said that the measure ‘does not go far enough to tackle the ‘unaffordable rents that are crippling renters’. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘This measure… is doomed to fail,’ he said. ‘The Rent Pressure Zone legislation also leaves tenants outside them to the mercy of the market and facing unsustainable rent hikes of up to 50%.

‘If the minister really wanted to help, he would abandon Rent Pressure Zones and introduce a three-year ban on rent increases, along with a refundable tax credit worth one month’s rent.’

Labour senator Rebecca Moynihan, meanwhile, said that the measure ‘does not go far enough to tackle the ‘unaffordable rents that are crippling renters’.

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