Dramatic rent hikes leading to homelessness – charity

Charity appeals for measures to protect vulnerable people

Louise McCarthy

Dramatic rent hikes in Dublin and North Kildare are leaving single mothers at risk of homelessness, according to the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

The SVP warning comes in light of a 16.6% hike in Dublin rents, with neighbouring Co. Kildare seeing a rise of 14%. The figures obtained from a Daft.ie report also reveals that rents have risen by
11% in Meath and 13% in Wicklow.

According to John-Mark McCafferty, head of social justice and policy with SVP, there are approximately 600 homeless children in Dublin alone.

“Rising rents have already caused homelessness,” Mr McCafferty told The Irish Catholic.

He warned that North Kildare was seeing the worst effects of rising rents. He said that single mothers with young children were being forced to contend with a 14% rental hike since the summer months.

“The problem is very acute in north Kildare for people in the private rented sector. Rent supplement levels are very low in comparison to Dublin. A lot of the people hit by hikes are single mothers in their late 20s and 30s, whose marriage has broken down.

“Single males without any dependants are also at risk. They may have left institutionalised care or prisons,” said Mr McCafferty.


Although homelesseness was not a visible problem in North Kildare, Mr McCafferty warned that the majority of homeless people were staying in B&Bs, hotels and hostels.

The SVP is appealing for the implementation of measures to protect people from rental hikes around the country.

In Dublin, local agencies work together so that people struggling to pay rent may have their level of rent supplement adjusted on a case-by-case basis.

Mr McCafferty said the option to have the rate of rent supplement adjusted should be made available to urban dwellers throughout the country.

Elsewhere, Waterford has seen a 5% rise, Cork 8%, Galway 7% and Limerick 6%.