'˜Lack of housing driving rent hikes'

A failure to build sufficient new housing in Derry and across the North is enriching private landlords locally at a rate far higher than that being enjoyed by their counterparts in Britain,

Saturday, 28th April 2018, 4:38 pm

That’s according to Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly, who has expressed alarm at new figures which show that renting privately is becoming more and more expensive in the North.

He was speaking after HomeLet, part of the Barbon Insurance Group, released data for the month of March, which showed that private rent rates in the North were up 2.4 per cent year on year, compared with 0.9 per cent across the United Kingdom.

“Average rent in the private sector has risen by 2.4 per cent here compared to an increase of 0.9 per cent in Britain,” said Colr. Kelly.

“This increase is not being driven by a rise in prosperity. It is being driven by the failure to build sufficient social housing, which is forcing more and more people into the private market,” he added.

The local councillor said urgent action was required to address the problem and suggested insufficient social housing stock was driving the private rent hikes.

“These figures have been released just days after research by the Nevin Economic Research Institute linked higher rents in the private sector with poverty,” he suggested.

“Lengthy waiting lists for social housing and higher private rents is the price ordinary families pay for the failure to build sufficient social houses to meet need,” he added.

According to the HomeLet Rental Index the average rental bill in the North in March was £629, which was up from the £614 average bill recorded by the organisation during the same month last year.