Trade Unions and Uplift launch campaign to protect tenants from unfair rent increases and evictions
Wednesday 26 October 2016, 06pm
In response to the escalating rent crisis people powered campaigning organisation Uplift has partnered with a Trade Union's Communications’ Workers Union (CWU), IMPACT, Mandate, SIPTU and UNITE to launch the ‘Secure Rents’ campaign.
Uplift and the trade unions are also launching a petition calling on Minister Simon Coveney to regulate increases by linking rents to the Consumer Price Index, to revoke the right of landlords to evict tenants for the purpose of sale, and to move from current 4 year leases to indefinite lease terms.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign Mandate Trade Union 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 percent 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..”
Joe O’Connor from trade union IMPACT 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.’ He continued ‘without Government intervention, the situation is set to get a lot worse. People are at the end of what they can cope with.’
To kick start the campaign, a calculator is being launched 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.’ She continued ‘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.’
Karan O’ Loughlan of SIPTU concluded ‘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.’
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