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Make all rentals publicly available, Housing Commission says in report criticizing system – The Irish Times

The Government should replace long-established rent pressure zones (RPZs) with a new regulation system while making all rents collected public, the Housing Commission has recommended.

The leak of parts of the report has put the Government on the defensive on housing ahead of a vital election period, with accusations that the housing crisis in Ireland has been driven by “ineffective decision-making and reactive policy-making” .

The report’s verdict that Ireland’s housing crisis has been driven by “ineffective decision-making and reactive policy-making” sparked strident criticism of government policy from the opposition. It is concluded that, although Ireland spends the most on housing in Europe, it has some of the worst results.

A full copy of the report obtained by The Irish Times argues that the current RPZ system, which limits rent increases to inflation – or a maximum of 2 per cent, whichever is lower – should be replaced.

Instead, the report says, a new system should be introduced that links rent increases to nearby homes of similar quality. Rent would not increase more than a certain percentage above this level for a specified period, taking into account costs such as management and maintenance, interest rates, and household income and affordability.

It also maintains that the State should “establish a publicly available registry of rents collected.”

The RPZs, he says, were introduced as a temporary measure eight years ago and now “the regulatory system must adapt to its long-term purpose”. The Cabinet this week agreed to extend the rules until the end of 2025. The report says studies have suggested non-compliance with the rules is a problem in Ireland, and cites research which argues that RPZs contribute to a “two-story” rental market. levels” with existing tenants enjoying lower rents and those looking for a home facing “significantly higher” charges.

It finds that the methodology used in expanding the system to cover new areas is “not fit for purpose” and that the current approach leads to “inconsistencies and inequities”.

Advancing reform of RPZs, which have become a central feature of the rental market in Ireland since their introduction and expansion in many areas, would likely spark a major debate over a replacement, just as the Government prepares for a series of elections in which housing costs will increase. will be a key issue.

The report also states that the recommendation divided the commission, with three members – Ronan Lyons, Michael O’Flynn and Dermot O’Leary – arguing that there was a consensus in international research “in terms of the negative impact, overall, of rental controls, especially quasi-permanent rent controls of the type proposed here.”

The report also recommends that the State should “merge regulatory agencies involved in the regulation of rental accommodation” under a single authority “and strengthen enforcement powers”.

Taoiseach Simon Harris defended the Government’s progress on housing in the Dáil, pointing to record figures for house construction and social housing completions last year, denying that the Government was trying to delay publication of the report until after the local elections and next month’s European elections.

The report found that there is an underlying housing deficit of 256,000 homes in Ireland and recommended that 20 per cent of the housing stock should be made up of social and affordable housing, as well as the establishment of a new Housing Delivery Oversight Executive. and senior officials. producing Housing Delivery Zones.

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