The revelations in last weeks’ documentary about standards in the private rental sector were shocking, but the policiy of the Government under the recently published National Planning Framework Draft will contribute to that situation continuing and getting worse as we concentrate all our resources on a few large cities, and Dublin in particular.
In addition, the resources are not there in councils around the country to carry out the required checks on rental accommodation. There should be an NCT type test for houses in the rental sector and that test should be carried out every year. There is also a major problem with regard to vacant houses around the country. Councils should be ready to move in quickly to refurbish those houses but that’s not happening at the moment. There is a major problem with leadership on this issue in councils all around the country and the Minister needs to address this immediately.
The conditions that we saw people living in on that documentary last week were a disgrace. You wouldn’t treat animals the way these people were treated but if you keep driving jobs and especially lower paid jobs into a couple of areas around the country you will get ghettos and the type of conditions that we saw last week. We have got to have proper balanced regional development or this situation will get worse.

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