Responding to today’s Daft Rental Report, Dail deputy Thomas Pringle has warned that overall rising rents in Donegal are becoming unsustainable for tenants particularly for families.

He said: “Latest Daft figures show rents at their highest levels in the history of the state rising on average by 11.2% this year. For Donegal, rents have risen by 22 per cent since their lowest point, while HAP has only increased once and still falls far below the average rent in Donegal.

“The maximum a family can get for HAP in Donegal is €520 however if you look at average rents in the country families are expected to pay close to €600 a month. This is making it difficult for families to find appropriate accommodation and availability is becoming a burdening problem across the County.

“Local authorities continue to top up rents above HAP limits with discretionary enhanced payments which is completely unsustainable if rents continue to increase."

Deputy Pringle (pictured) added: “Unsustainable rents are a sign of the dysfunctional rental market caused by the Government’s runaway housing policies which in itself are facilitating the rise in rents across the country. Bizarrely, mortgage repayments for a three bed house are now cheaper than if renting the same property by €229. So families are essentially being penalised for being tenants and Government policies are intent on targeting this rental cohort.

“We are seeing close to zero new social housing units being built to permanently and sustainably house those families on HAP. State money pumped into HAP only ends up back into the private sector via landlord profit meaning the Government needs to radically change its priorities if we want to halt the runaway housing sector.

“The Government’s Strategy for Rental Sector has clearly failed since its inception and a radical overall of the rental sector is required if we are to prevent further families from entering homelessness in Donegal. There is no other solution here but for the Government to finally sit down and draft a National social housing plan for construction to start immediately."

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