McGuinness: Short-term letting pricing local families out of the market

Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that short-term letting through platforms such as Airbnb are distorting the property market in West Waterford and pricing families out of the private rental market. 

McGuinness said:

“Local families are being priced out of the private rental market in Dungarvan. Over recent weeks I have been contacted by individuals, couples and families that are struggling to find accommodation in Dungarvan or surrounding district that is affordable. 

“There are currently more houses on offer on short-term letting platforms such as Airbnb than on regular property sites. 

“Finding a suitable rental property within the limits of the Housing Assistance Payment is next to impossible in Dungarvan and has been for quite some time.

“This is resulting is what we call hidden homelessness – chronic overcrowding, families depending on a single room

In a relative’s house, or young people couch-surfing indefinitely. It is also forcing people into substandard, and sometimes unsafe, accommodation.

“I have been contacted by several middle income families and couples who are really struggling to find somewhere affordable to rent in Dungarvan that doesn’t leave them broke at the end of the month. 

“I know of one case recently where a young family were evicted having been told that their landlord wanted to sell the house, only to find it listed on Airbnb within a week.

“I am concerned at the market distortion at play here, but also that the Government are not factoring Airbnb prices into their calculations when determining Rent Pressure Zones. 

“Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson in housing Eoin O’Broin will bring a piece of legislation before the Dáil when it resumes called the Short Term Lettings Enforcement Bill 2020.

“The housing crisis has not gone away. It’s causing real hardship in West Waterford. Government cannot continue to bury its head in the sand on this issue.”