27/10/2021

Green Party Proposes Rent Control Scheme For Belfast

The Green Party NI has proposed the introduction of a rent control scheme in Belfast, urging Belfast City Council to support the motion.

The party's Deputy Leader, Cllr Mal O'Hara, who introduced the motion, said: "We are currently in a cost of living crisis and a housing crisis, yet already unaffordable rents continue to rise. The Executive should be doing more to ensure that housing in Northern Ireland is affordable and good quality.

"Rent controls are a common policy across Europe, in the USA, and the Scottish Greens have recently secured a commitment to the introduction of rent controls in Scotland. It's important that we ensure that renters in Northern Ireland are not left behind, and are offered the same rights and protections as renters elsewhere."
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The full motion reads: "This Council supports a system of rent controls in the City. This council notes with grave concern the escalating prices of rents in all parts of Belfast, notes the failure of the executive to regulate the rental market and notes the significant additional number of students moving to the city with the relocation of the University of Ulster campus to North Belfast. This council is concerned about the increasing number of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) spreading across the city, the escalation of living costs, while wages stagnate and National Insurance contributions increase. This council calls on the Executive to immediately bring forward a Rent Control scheme for the City."

Cllr Mal O'Hara continued: "With 11,858 applications on the waiting list for social homes in Belfast, many are turning to the private rental sector for accommodation, and that's creating further demand which far outstrips current supply. The situation is unsustainable and the Executive need to act immediately so that people can access good quality housing at a fair price."

The motion will be debated at Belfast City Council on Monday 01 November.

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