• The Government and local authorities need to build more social housing, to try and tackle the country's homeless problem.

    That's according to the CEO of Galway Simon, who was responding to a survey released this week which showed there were no properties in Galway City available for people on the Rent Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment earlier this year.

    The snapshot survey for the Simon Communities of Ireland was taken over three days during the month of May, and revealed that across the country, only 8% of properties were available to rent with no income limits.

    No properties were available on those dates in Galway City, Limerick or Portlaoise, while just one property was available in Sligo and Athlone within the rent supplement / HAP limits.

    The Simon Communities of Ireland say this is one of the main reasons that people are becoming homeless.

    Karen Golden is CEO of Galway Simon- and told Midwest News there is a decreasing supply of rental accomodation in Galway city

  • A Mayo Councillor has called for smaller landlords to be exempt from tax on the income they earn on second properties.

    Killala based Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly had a motion down at this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council asking the Minister for Finance to exempt income generated from private rented accommodation from taxation in next year’s budget.

    Cllr Munnelly stressed that this was aimed at the small landlords, who only have one or two properties.

    He said it would allow landlords to rent out these properties at a reasonable rate, which could help to alleviate the housing crisis.

    Cllr Munnelly says many properties around the county are vacant at present, because these smaller landlords cannot afford the taxation on the income generated by them.

    The motion received the backing of his fellow councillors at the meeting.

  • Not one single property in Galway City or Athlone is affordable to those in receipt of rent supplement or housing assistance payments.

    That’s according to new figures compiled by the Simon Community from figures supplied by property website

    The report looks at11 areas across the country, including Sligo town, Galway city and Athlone, and found there were no properties available within HAP limits in four of the 11 locations, with two other areas having just one available property.

  • Rents in Co Mayo increased by over 7% in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period last year.

    The average advertised rent is now €654 per month.

    This is considerably lower than the national average rent of €1,261.

    Rents nationwide rose by an average of 11.5% in the year to March 2018, according to the latest quarterly rental report by property website

    Rents in Dublin rose by over 12% to an average of €1,875 per month, while in Galway city, rents increased by over 13% to €1,130 per month.

    Author of the report, economist Ronan Lyons, says the increasing rents are due to the chronic and worsening lack of supply of rental homes.

    He says policy must focus on dramatically increasing the construction of urban apartments over the coming years to meet demand.