ColumnistsVogue Williams

Lack of places to rent isn’t fair

Dublin city centre
Dublin city centre

AS I’ve written before, the rent prices in Dublin are outrageously expensive – if you can even find a place to rent.

Luckily, I own a place in Dublin because, if I didn’t, I would be paying almost double what my mortgage would cost me.

The majority of my friends rent because it became nearly impossible to buy a place since the banks hiked up the deposits to 20 per cent.

That, coupled with the fact that our property market is beginning to do well again, means most people my age cannot afford to buy and are therefore left with extortionate rental costs.

I read a couple of articles, both published this week, that annoyed me.

The first article was about Airbnb taking potential long-term rental apartments off the market.

I know a lot of people that rent two-bedroom apartments on the basis that they will Airbnb out one of the rooms.

In many cases, this can cover the entire rent of the apartment and then some.

I realise that using an Airbnb is mostly cheaper than a hotel, but it also helps people that are struggling to pay their rents at home.

Dublin City Council’s figures state that there are 6,729 listings on Airbnb for the capital, with 5,377 of these within the city council area.

That figure doesn’t surprise me, as homeowners are realising that they can make a lot of money from using Airbnb.

Another article I spotted said that Dublin is the second most expensive city in the eurozone behind Paris for employees working abroad.

Again, it’s a figure that does not surprise me, as Dublin’s high ranking comes mainly from housing costs.

I don’t have an issue with our property industry thriving, but I do have an issue with it becoming out of control again

 The simple fact of the matter is that the entire economic world is governed by the basic laws of supply and demand.

In Ireland, we have a huge demand for housing and the supply is just not there.

The only way to manage prices at an appropriate and reasonable level is to adequately plan medium and long-term supply, regardless of the commodity. In the U.K. and Ireland, governments have completely abdicated their responsibilities towards supplying an adequate amount of quality public housing.

The government is concerned about Airbnb and concerned about the fact that Dublin is considered so expensive, but they are not so concerned about the people who are struggling to keep the place that they are living in.

People, particularly of my generation, cannot afford to buy and can barely afford to rent.

It leaves many of them without options; it leaves more people homeless and on the streets.

Our homeless crisis is already out of control and only this week housing minister Eoghan Murphy said that the 650 families that are currently homeless will continue living in emergency accommodation, as the plans to house them will not meet next month’s deadline set by the government.

The government needs to invest in upgrading existing social housing stock and build new houses to meet the demands of the population.

 We can talk about the rental, housing and homeless crisis until we are blue in the face, but unless something is done by our government the problem is just going to get worse.

I bought my apartment as an investment, as something I would use as a pension in later life, but I am slowly coming to the realisation that I’m in for a big disappointment.


Tourists tricked into dining on dog meat

 

I READ an article on the dog meat trade which said tourists in Bali are being fed the meat disguised as chicken.

The Animal protection organisation, Animals Australia, recently carried out an investigation in Bali after reports surfaced that tourists were being sold dog meat.

It’s not illegal to eat and sell dog meat in Bali and in a lot of other countries in Asia. I am a huge dog lover and if I had unknowingly eaten dog meat, I would be devastated.

I think it’s a disgrace that the dog meat trade is still going on in these countries.

The dogs are killed in the most inhumane ways and many are beaten and boiled alive.

Pet dogs are stolen off the street and used for their meat as well and if you own a dog you would know that would be like losing a family member.

Hearing all this about Bali has completely put me off visiting.