Independent Senator Katherine Zappone has published a progressive Housing Bill that aims to tackle the housing affordability crisis. The measures include increased security of tenure and certainty of rent and more favourable tax treatment for landlords who opt-in. Senator Zappone’s bill also outlines an innovative community based model to house those who are homeless or seeking refuge in Ireland.
Senator Zappone, said:
“The rent certainty measures in this bill go further than the Governments. What the Government has done so far is simply not enough and additional creative solutions are required. I treasure my Independent voice which gives me the freedom to demonstrate how the Government can go further in finding a solution to the crisis.
“I believe the legislation I am proposing could, if enacted, help to safeguard the homes of low income families until the housing stock comes on stream and protect property owners in negative equity from repossessions as well as make homes available for those who are without.”
The Housing Bill provides for three voluntary rent agreement schemes that offer better security of tenure and certainty of rent for the tenants than are currently available and more favourable tax treatment for landlords who voluntarily provide better protections for their tenants.
The three proposed tenancy schemes are: ‘Home Tenancy’ which is open for all households regardless of income or rent. ‘Social Tenancy’ which is available for rent supplement tenants and their landlords and thirdly, ‘Solidarity Tenancy’ which provides the highest level of incentives for landlords who are offering medium term accommodation to households who are either homeless or refugees.
Senator Zappone consulted Focus, NESC, DKM, Fintan McNamara who represents landlords and others during the drafting of the Bill to ensure a balanced and fair approach.
“I believe the solution to the unsustainable situation in the housing market needs to consider all parties fairly while making sure those who are most vulnerable remain a priority. The rent certainty measures proposed in this Bill, have been positively endorsed by the landlords associations as well as organisation working with the homeless. “