National housing charity Threshold has called on the Government to introduce a tax relief on rents paid by private tenants in Budget 2023 to help ease pressures caused by the cost of living crisis.
It is one of several measures the charity wants to see in the budget to improve the private rental sector.
Threshold has previously welcomed increases in the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and the extension of notice periods for tenancy terminations.
But the charity warned that immediate actions must be taken by the Government to protect against rising rent costs and energy bills which are pushing many private renters further into financial distress or into homelessness.
Threshold’s Chief Executive Officer, John-Mark McCafferty called for private renters to be a priority in this year’s Budget.
“Renters are one of the groups hit hardest by rising inflation and are at greater risk of poverty in comparison to owner occupiers having sustained unrelenting rent increases since 2014,” he said.
“Private renters are now facing extreme financial uncertainty as the cost of energy, heating, transport and food has increased rapidly over the last year. Some may be forced to choose between paying for rent, heat or food this winter.”
Threshold is calling for financial relief for private renters via tax relief, a €20 million Rent Arrears Fund to support renters experiencing financial difficulty, an increase in the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) base rates and the creation of a Dedicated Homeless Prevention Budget, amounting to 20% of all homeless expenditure.
The charity also wants the Government to deliver measures to retain homes in the rental sector via relief on the Capital Gains Tax (CGT), to provide targeted measures to improve the energy efficiency of private rental homes, create a Deposit Protection Scheme as committed to in Housing For All, and allocate the necessary funds to hold a Referendum on the Right to Housing in 2023.
Threshold’s helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am- 9pm at 1800 454 454, with webchat at www.threshold.ie/advice/help for any renter in need of advice or support.