Robust measures necessary to help private renters affected by COVID-19 pandemic – McGuinness   

Sinn Féin group leader on Waterford Council Conor McGuinness has called on the government to do more to meet the needs of renters who have lost their jobs and who are struggling with high rental costs. Emergency rent supplement, rent reductions and rent waivers must now be firmly on the government’s agenda as Minister Eoghan Murphy introduces emergency legislation next week.

Councillor Conor McGuinness said:

“In the coming days and weeks, tenants in the private rented sector who have lost their jobs will have to pay their rent.

“While Minister Eoghan Murphy’s pledge to halt evictions and freeze rents for three months is a welcome first step, renters also need help with their rental payments.

“An emergency rent supplement payment must now be firmly on the agenda.

“Sinn Féin has written to Minister Regina Doherty three times as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt by workers across the State, urging her to consider introducing an emergency COVID-19 rent supplement payment, similar to the emergency welfare payment, to help renters.

“Equally, the government must also consider temporary rent reductions and rent waivers for tenants whose landlords are availing of mortgage repayment forbearance. A rent moratorium is not the solution as it will lead to a build up of rent arrears and a huge rental debt crisis down the road.

“Ministers Doherty and Murphy must meet with opposition spokespeople as a matter or urgency so we can all work together to support renters during this pandemic.”