IMPACT joins campaign to improve tenant protections

Joe O'Connor, organiser IMPACT
“Without Government intervention, the situation for tenants is set to get a lot worse” – Joe O’Connor

IMPACT and other trade unions, in partnership with Uplift, have launched a campaign to improve protections and security of tenure for rental tenants. The campaign aims to petition the Government on improved tenant protections and to regulate rent increases by linking them to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The campaign was launched today (Tuesday 25th October) in response to the escalating rent crisis and includes the Communications’ Workers Union (CWU), Mandate, SIPTU and UNITE trade unions.

The campaign petition calls on Minister for Housing Simon Coveney to:

  1. Regulate increases by linking rents to the CPI
  2. Revoke the right of landlords to evict tenants for the purpose of sale
  3. Move from current four year leases to indefinite lease terms.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Dublin today, IMPACT organiser Joe O’Connor said, “After years of excessive rent increases, thousands of workers, students, parents, and children are struggling to keep a roof over their head due to unaffordable rents. Many more have seen their living standards and disposable income cut to the bone. Without Government intervention, the situation is set to get a lot worse. People are at the end of what they can cope with.”

The campaign includes an online calculator which allows tenants to calculate how much rent they are likely to pay in five years time based on what they are currently paying and projected future increases.

Emily Duffy, campaigner with Uplift, said “Simon Coveney has to power to turn thousands of individual and families lives around by protecting them from unfair rent increases and guaranteeing them security in their homes. Tenants are being blackmailed into paying rents they can’t afford. This campaign will provide thousands of tenants who feel powerless to join forces and take action together.”

Mandate general secretary John Douglas said, “The free-market approach to housing and accommodation by successive governments has led directly to the crisis we’re seeing in housing and in the wider economy. It has also exacerbated poverty and deprivation levels. If a low-paid worker is spending up to 60 per cent of their income on putting a roof over their head, it means they won’t have enough to spend on clothing, food or other necessities.”

Karan O’ Loughlan of SIPTU added, “Minister Coveney has committed to moderate rental price inflation in the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland plan, and to publishing a strategy on the rental sector before the end of 2016. Our call for secure rents and protections for tenants is both reasonable and realistic. He needs to listen and act in the interests of the people he serves.”