More can be done to alleviate the rental crisis in Dublin

I heard an interesting comment this morning concerning the strange irony that many visiting tourists to Dublin are now staying in apartments – whilst the homeless are in Hotels.

We are all well aware of the shortage of rental accommodation in the Capital – a recent study by Daft revealed that the price of rental property in Dublin has gone up by 40% whilst availability has gone down by 80%.

Whilst I commend the inclusion in the Budget to increase the tax-free allowance incentives for homeowners to rent out a room in their house to €14,000 per annum and Minister Coveney’s action plan for housing which will provide 47,000 units of social housing – I believe even more can be done.

In Canada for example – Vancouver City Council recently approved a tax on empty homes.

The tax which is the first of its kind in Canada has been introduced to combat their own housing crisis and is expected improve Vancouver’s rental vacancy rate – currently around 0.6 per cent – by persuading owners of thousands of empty apartments and houses to put them up for rent.

Self-reporting owners will be assessed a one per cent tax on homes that are not principal residences or aren’t rented out for at least six months of the year.

This initiative is something that I think should be monitored and if successful potentially introduced here also.

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