People trapped by spiralling rents and dysfunctional housing system – Hanley

Galway Daily news City Cllr Owen Hanley resigns following allegations

Young people in Galway are trapped in a “dysfunctional” system of spiralling rents and increasing difficulty to acquire their own home Councillor Owen Hanley said.

The city councillor said that rents in Galway continue to rise year on year, beyond what it affordable, and also past the “basic limits” the government has supposedly enshrined in law.

responding to the latest report which showed that the average cost of renting in Galway City increased by 6.1% in the past year, while things were worse in the county, which saw a 6.7% increase.

This while Galway is supposedly a rent pressure zone, where rents cannot be increased by more than 4% each year. A rule which councillor Hanley says is not being adhered to.

“People young and old are being trapped by their rent, with no affordable housing on offer, and no chance to put aside meaningful savings that would get them any way near the run away cost of buying their own home.”

The national housing charity has also recently raised concerns about the failure to enforce the  implementation of RPZ rules in Galway, as well as the lack of availability of rental accommodation overall.

The most recent Q1 2021 Daft report showed just 305 homes available to rent in the Connacht-Ulster region on May 1, down by almost half on last year, and the lowest level seen since 2006.

Councillor Hanley said these high rents are linked to wider issues, pointing to the recent furore about the bulk purchase of houses at a Kildare estate by a large investment fund.

“While the Government is making noise about limiting the ability of these funds they introduced into the country in the first place, they have repeatedly stated their desire to allow REIT funds to purchase apartments in city centres.”

Councillor Hanley said that allowing large funds to continue buying up apartments in cities will “shut out” young people from the possibility of owning their own home in the city.

“The dreams of a generation are being crushed. Many are now resigned to the fact that they will never own their own home.”

“Policies for over a decade have diminished the economic opportunities of young people to the point where they fear they will be trapped in the unaffordable rental system for the rest of their lives.”