How the private rental sector created a homelessness crisis in England and Ireland.

Apr 15 2023 Posted: 16:07 IST

New article on The Conversation by Professor Padraic Kenna. 

How the Private Rental Sector created a homelessness crisis in England and Ireland. 

There is a homelessness crisis in Ireland. More than 11,000 people including 3,500 children were living in emergency homeless accommodation at the end of 2022 – a 300% increase since 2014. And these figures do not even capture the full extent of hidden homelessness because thousands of people in Irelandare living in unaffordable, unsafe, insecure housing. 

In recent years Ireland’s private rental sector has been used to plug the gap left by reduced social housing availability. Combined with booming demand from private renters, properties are now in very short supply.

England is experiencing similar shortages, with recent figures showing the number of homes available to rent across the UK has fallen by a third over the past 18 months, while average rents are now £2,200 a year higher than before COVID.

But both Ireland and England are suffering from much more than too few houses or too much demand. People are struggling to afford decent homes after decades of policies designed to boost homeownership have turned property into piggy banks rather than homes.

Read the full article here.