Young people are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis in Waterford City and County as rents and house prices continue to soar. The rising cost of living and the growth of insecure work contracts is adding fuel to the fire.
Last year saw a 7.5% increase in house prices across Waterford and an 11% rise in rents in the county. Rents in the city rose by 19%, having a knock on effect on the county, further hitting the supply side and increasing demand. The most recent figures show that the largest single age demographic affected by homelessness in the South East are those aged 25-44.
Ireland has the highest cost of living of all EU member-states, with rent or mortgage payments comprising by far the largest outgoing from the pay packets of younger workers. The growing trend towards rolling fixed-term or low-hours employment contracts, makes incomes insecure and prevents young people from securing a mortgage to buy or build. Having a home of their own and starting a family is fast moving beyond the reach of many young people in Waterford and across the state.
The failure by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to invest in affordable, cooperative and public housing or to seriously tackle the worsening rental crisis has led to a situation where having a good job is no longer enough to get by on, and emigration still seems the only real prospect for many young people.
Sinn Féin representatives have realistic and costed plans ready to go to double the number of affordable properties for rent and purchase, to deliver 10,000 new social houses per year, and to support cooperative housing projects at local level.
We need your support to make this happen. If you want real change vote for Sinn Féin candidates on May 24th.