Dysfunctional housing market is leading to a backlash against banks

Dysfunctional housing market is leading to a backlash against banks
House prices are set to grow by 10% this year. Pic: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THE CORK manager of a leading housing charity has said people's anger at the dysfunctional housing market is leading to a backlash against banks and the government.

A Bank of Ireland advertisement that was cancelled this week after causing an outrage on social media highlights how dysfunctional the housing market, said Niall Horgan, Cork manager of Threshold.

Mr Horgan said the reaction the advert caused is reflective of the anger people feel at being forced into very difficult housing situations.

The advertisement was a case study about an adult couple who had moved back in with their parents to save for a deposit with a link to a blog post about the couple’s experience of saving for their own place.

Mr Horgan said adults should not have to move back in with their parents in order to save for a mortgage deposit.

“People should be able to save for a mortgage deposit while they are renting, but unfortunately this is now almost impossible with current rent levels.” 

It was revealed this week that the average rent in Cork has rocketed to €1,122 per month, with few properties available to rent.

Mr Horgan said something had to be done in order to combat the increasing costs and housing supply.

“Increasing the supply of affordable housing, both rented and purchased needs to be a top priority for the Government.” A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland told the Evening Echo, the ad was not meant to cause outrage.

“The ad featured one couple's deposit saving experience, it wasn't intended to cause offence and wasn’t intended as advice for customers.

“We’re focused on supporting first-time buyers at all stages of the home buying journey and our MortgageSaver product helps first time buyers who are saving towards a deposit.” Threshold, who released their pre-budget submission yesterday, said the Government must use Budget 2018 to introduce measures to create an affordable and suitable supply of rental accommodation across the country.

As part of the submission, Threshold is looking for a Deposit Protection Scheme to be introduced, an increase of Housing Assistance Payments and Rent Supplement to reflect the current market and tax reforms to assist small scale landlords.

As well as this the organisation is looking for a NCT-type certification system for private rented accommodation and a cost rental system of social and affordable rental accommodation.

Chair of Threshold Dr Aideen Hayden said: “The housing sector is in crisis at the moment and it is imperative that the Government takes strong and targeted measures in Budget 2018 to address this.

“Our pre-Budget submission proposes a number of measures to address the standards, affordability and security of tenure issues in the sector.”

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