Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Johnny Guirke has warned that the Government has ‘lost control of the housing market’, as new figures show that rents in Meath have soared to €1,596.

His comments were made after the latest rent report recorded alarming rises in rents across the state, including in Meath.

Across the state, the report records the highest rents to date and the lowest number of rental properties on the market since their records began.

He told Meath Live, “This weeks rent report is deeply troubling. According to the report, rents in Meath have soared to €1,596. This is an increase of 9.8% since last year.

“Rents were already far too high and too many people here in Meath are trapped by the housing crisis and locked out of owning their own home. This is a very worrying crisis and people cannot afford to continue paying these spiralling costs.

“Workers and families on ordinary incomes here cannot afford to fork out these huge sums for rent every month, when they are already struggling with a cost of living crisis that is seeing their bills soar. Every day, people are contacting me looking for help with this crisis, including young families stuck in cramped flats that they’re paying through the nose for, and young people living at home with their families while they anxiously watch house prices creep further and further out of their reach.

“It is clear that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Government have lost control of the housing market. After two years in office and almost a year into his housing plan, Darragh O’Brien is presiding over record highs in rents, house prices and homelessness. Meanwhile, social and affordable housing is well behind target and the private rental sector is shrinking. This out-of-touch Government simply don’t get how serious this crisis is.

”Budget 2023 next month is the Minister’s last chance to make the level of change required to fix our deepening housing crisis. We need a dramatic increase in funding to deliver 20,000 social and affordable homes every year for the next decade. We need emergency action to reduce homelessness and slow down the disorderly exit of landlords from the private rental sector.

“The Government’s failure to fix the housing crisis is devastating the lives of renters in [county] who are forced to pay the price for their inaction. Sinn Féin in government would tackle the housing crisis.