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Martin says rents need to be controlled, but won't commit to a rent freeze if in power

A recent poll shows that 60% of people are in favour of the proposed rent freeze bill.

Image: Leah Farrell

“RENTS ARE TOO high and need to be controlled”, according to Micheál Martin, however, he has refused to state if Fianna Fáil will bring in a rent freeze if they are in government after the next general election.

The party recently supported Sinn Féin’s Rent Freeze (Fair Rent) Bill, which was brought forward by TD Eoin Ó Broin. 

The bill would put a freeze on rents for the next three years. 

When asked by TheJournal.ie if Fianna Fáil would introduce a rent freeze if the rental and housing crisis remains the same, Martin said his party “will have far more comprehensive policy platform than just rent controls, which are important”, he said.

“The rents are far too high,” he acknowledged.

A recent poll shows that 60% of people are in favour of the proposed rent freeze bill.

The latest Amárach/Claire Byrne Live poll for TheJournal.ie found that 61% of people nationwide wanted the rents to be capped.

Martin said Fianna Fáil are looking at a “tax incentive facilitation of tax rates and incentives for smaller landlords in particular”.

The party’s manifesto will have a comprehensive policy focusing on supply and the central issue of getting houses built. The party’s housing policy document is due to be launched in the new year.

“We need more landlords in the market, we’re losing landlords as well, but there has to be something done to control rents,” he said

Martin said the issue of housing can’t be dealt with on a “piecemeal basis”, but added:

“We can’t do everything. But we’re going to sort this housing out.”

He said historically, his party has built the biggest estates of the past in areas of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

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If the housing crisis is not dealt with, “there’ll be an implosion in our society”, said Martin.

“If we don’t deal with the huge challenges that young people face today, in either affording rent, or in being having a realistic prospect of being able to buy a house at the moment, they don’t have that. And too much of their income is being eaten up by excessive rents. And the rents have gone too high and they have to be controlled.”

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