Sinn Féin TD for Cork East Pat Buckley has welcomed the announcement that Midleton and Fermoy will now be included in the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) scheme which limits the rates of annual rent increases in specific areas. While stating this was an improvement, he described the introduction of limits as “close the gate after the horse has bolted” saying that rents were already at an unaffordable level for many young people and families across East Cork and more needed to be done.
Deputy Buckley said;
“I have been calling for the inclusion of East Cork’s larger towns to be included in the RPZ’s since early on in the scheme. Even before the scheme was introduced, towns like Midleton and Fermoy had seen large increases in rents which had left many struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their head. One family that contacted me in early 2018 had been given a 78% increase in just one year.
“I want to pay tribute also to my colleague Sinn Féin Councillor Danielle Twomey who led the charge at council level to demand this change for our area.
“The inclusion of Midleton and Fermoy as RPZ’s will help to stop these exorbitant and unreasonable increases but, in reality, it is a sign that things have already gone way too far. The average rent of properties for Fermoy and Midleton on Daft right now is over €1200 a month.
“The Minister said in his announcement that rents are currently unsustainable and that he anticipated the need to add these areas. If that’s the case, he has failed utterly in his duty. The requirement for regulating rent should not be that it has already become unsustainable. Why did he not listen to either myself or Deputy Eoin Ó Broin years ago on this issue? His rejection of our plans to regulate rents and introduce a temporary freeze shows he does not care about stopping the suffering cause by this policy.
“Slowing the rate at which rents continue to become more unaffordable is not good enough. We need a rent freeze and strong regulations on rent rates in the future to stop this price gouging while we build the tens of thousands of public housing units needed to end the crisis.”