USI says landlords must be incentivised to lease properties in submission to Government plan

The USI set out a range of suggestions to help solve the current housing crisis

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have proposed that landlords receive a range of benefits to incentivise leasing accommodation to students. This was one suggestion made as part of a submission to the Strategy for the Rented Sector, a plan co-ordinated by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. 

The USI’s submission, which was released earlier this month, suggests incentives such as reduced electricity/gas charges or other benefits linked to the social welfare payments system.

It outlines actions that need to be taken to secure affordable housing for everyone, in particular students.

The strategy for the rental sector will be built upon the four pillars of security, supply, standard and service.

According to a report from 2016, 20 per cent less homes were offered on their website between August 2015 and August 2016.

It is the USI’s hope that actions like their proposed landlord incentives will help the shortage of accommodation for students.

The USI President, Annie Hoey said that the housing crisis needs to be addressed and hopes that the actions outlined in the USI’s submission can help achieve  setting a long-term goal and design short and mid-term measures to reach it.

“Policy-makers need to look at the needs of various groups of stakeholders and restore the sense of stability both in terms of affordability and availability of housing for all. Without adequate protection of the right to accommodation for students, we will sentence Ireland to socio-economic stagnation,” Hoey said.

A total of 35 per cent of the student population live in a private landlord’s property.

But in the housing market, these students are competing with those who can pay higher rents and therefore are very often priced out, ignored and rejected by the landlords.

Landlords are not the only issues facing students within the private rental sector. According to the USI, low quality accommodation, lack of written lease agreements and lack of regulations, are also major issues for many students.

Adam Daly

Image Credit: USI

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