Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said it is ‘disappointing’ that no renters’ rights activists will form part of the new housing commission.
Senator Moynihan said that without a seat at the table, the almost 400,000 people living in the private rental sector will ‘remain voiceless’ when it comes to change.
She was speaking following the first meeting of the newly formed Housing Commission yesterday.
The Commission is set to examine long-term housing policy, beyond 2030, and report to Government on how to build on policy changes committed to under Housing for All.
“It’s a notable that there are no renters’ rights activists in membership of the Housing Commission,” Senator Moynihan said.
“Without a seat at the table, renters can expect little change, only lip service to making things better.
“The Commission was up to examine long-term housing policy issues but it’s clear that renters’ rights will not be forming a significant part of that debate.
“There are some very good people on the Commission, a wide range of views which will ensure robust debate and hopefully better outcomes in the recommendations, but renters need a voice because for too long they have been ignored by policy makers as their numbers have expanded.
“Without a voice at the table, it is inevitable that some of the most vulnerable people in the housing market will continue to experience the consequences of ill-thought through policy. We in Labour have consistently advocated for more rights for renters – for greater security of tenure so that people can feel safe and secure in their home; for a rent freeze to stop rents eating up people’s hard earned pay; for better standards of accommodation so renters can do basic things like dry their clothes on the balcony.
“Current policies do not go far enough to help renters. It should be no surprise to anyone that at the start of the pandemic, many renters fled Dublin at the first opportunity because they simply did not feel at home in their accommodation nor could they afford it. The Housing Commission was an opportunity to right this wrong and to look to build a better housing system for renters.”