The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB)’s findings that rent controls would not work in Ireland failed to take into account several important factors, according to a rent control policy document launched yesterday by the youth movement We’re Not Leaving.
The group, made up of students, precarious workers, the young unemployed and combinations of all three, was founded to create a counter-narrative to the attitude that young people leaving Ireland are doing it as a ‘lifestyle choice’. The five areas it campaigns on (decided at its Youth Charter a year ago) are; internship culture, cuts to education and mental health services, housing and youth unemployment, all of which contribute to youth emigration.
Father Peter McVerry, a lifelong housing and homeless activist, launched the event. Father McVerry criticised the government’s attitude to the housing sector, pointing out that its inaction suggests the government believes in market self-regulation, which clearly has not happened.
The report, which is available here, calls for the introduction of a system that sets initial rent according to a points system such as operates in the Netherlands. It recommends that rent should be controlled between as well as within tenancies, that rent should be reviewed no more than once in a 12 month period and that rent increases should be capped to a maximum of 15% over a three year period, similar to rent control measures in Germany.
Dublin rental prices have increased by 14% over the last year, with average monthly rental costs standing at just over €1,370 a month, according to Daft.ie figures.
We’re Not Leaving is a collective of students, precarious workers and the young unemployed campaigning against the causes of youth emigration.
Photo: Matthew Mulligan