Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys has criticised the continued failure of the Government to act to regulate and tackle the massive increase in the use of homes in our cities for short term lets that is worsening the housing crisis.
However, a story on the front page of this morning's Irish Independent newspaper reports that the government is now preparing new laws to clampdown on Airbnb rentals to free up the homes.
An expert group set-up by the government, according to this morning's report, will recommend that restrictions should be put in place on the number of days that property owners can rent out their properties, and a licensing system, which will have different rules for different counties.
Senator Humphreys said: "I have been raising my concerns regarding the massive increase in the use of short term lets in our cities for two years now, but the Government and Minister Murphy have failed to act.
"There is an urgent need for legislation and regulation on this matter, but the Department has been prepared to turn a blind eye to the flouting of planning regulations. The Minister knows of this problem, but has failed to act. The expert group report will be received shortly but there are clear solutions available.
"Whatever comes out of it, we are told will require further public consultation which will drag out further the much needed action."
He added: "More and more homes are being used for short term lets, 9 alone on my own street in the South Lotts area of Ringsend.
"This is removing properties from the market that could be used as homes for those struggling to put a roof over their head.
"I have published my own legislation, and others have raised solutions, but the problem is being allowed fester. This cannot be allowed continue."
He pointed outthat An Bord Pleanala has ruled that commercial planning permission is needed "but local authorities and the Department have not acted to enforce this".
Responding to @paulbmelia front page story in today's @Independent_ie @KHumphreysDBS has criticised the continued failure of the Gov to act to regulate & tackle the massive increase in use of homes in our cities for short term lets https://t.co/YFOMim1DS7 pic.twitter.com/nmRGCfBBvD— The Labour Party (@labour) May 31, 2018