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One in 10 people spending over 60% of their income on rent in Ireland

Meanwhile, one in 20 people are spending more than 75% of their income on rent.

ONE IN TEN renters in Ireland are spending over 60% of their income on housing costs, a new report has found.

The National Social Monitor Report from Social Justice Ireland, which analysed the market rent across European countries, found that tenants here were spending a disproportionate amount of their income on rent.

It comes a week after two new rental pressure zones, in Limerick and Meath, were introduced in a bid to slow the pace of rising rents around the country. 

In summary, it found one in five renters were spending 40% of their income, one in 10 were spending 60% of their income, and one in 20 were spending 75% of their income on rent.

It warned that Ireland has a smaller population of renters compared to other EU countries and so the latest figures are a reality check on the state of the rental market. 

“While rates in Ireland are below the EU average in this regard, it should be noted that large-scale private renting is a relatively recent phenomenon for Ireland,” it said.

“We have a relatively low proportion of the population in this tenure compared to the rest of Europe, and the lower proportion of tenants paying market rent in the EU-15.

“It should be of concern that more than one in five tenants paying market rent in Ireland are paying over 40% of their disposable income in housing costs, with almost one in 10 paying over 60%.”

In countries such as Greece, however – which is also facing a housing crisis – more than eight in 10 renters spend over 40% of their income on rent. 

The report also found that 12.6% of the population, or 611,982 people in Ireland, were living in substandard conditions in 2017.

Financially, the level of difficulty in making ends meet is still higher in Ireland, as well as Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Slovakia and Spain than it was before the economic crisis in 2007.

Director of Social Justice Ireland, Sean Healy said “while economic growth has indeed led to improvements in living standards, and increased investment in infrastructure and public services, the benefits of these developments have been distributed in a grossly unequal fashion”.


Last week, President Michael D Higgins warned that further divisions and inequality were inevitable across European countries if a fresh approach to EU policy and strategy was not developed.

Higgins said there was a lack of “social cohesion” and a “narrow version of an economic union” in a speech delivered at the launch of the Jean Monnet centre at UCD.

The National Social Monitor report also examined other pillars of society including healthcare and environmental sustainability.

It concluded that Ireland along with nine other countries fell short in responding to healthcare needs of citizens, based upon self-reported medical care accessibility being  burdened by cost, waiting time, or distance.

Meanwhile, Ireland, along with Cyprus, Portugal and Spain had the highest increase of emissions despite facing considerable fines for missing climate change targets.

Ireland had the highest increase in emissions of the EU-15 countries examined in the report, between 2012 and 2016.

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