Renting was once seen as a step towards the property ladder and owning a home.
But now people of all ages are finding themselves tenants, for indefinite periods of time. The high costs involved mean that a mortgage remains a pipedream for most.
Paula Saul (28), from Clondalkin, Co Dublin, is struggling to make ends meet in private rented accommodation. She works part-time as a care assistant in a nursing home and is a single parent to a four-year-old daughter.
“Before I had my child I worked full time. I would have liked to save for a mortgage but there’s no possibility of that now,” said Paula.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to buy my own home. I’d like to imagine that I would, but I’m paying rent. I’d never be able to save anything.”
Although she is on the waiting list for a council house, Paula and her daughter are going down in the list of priority rather than up.
“I went to them before I started renting to see how long I would be waiting, and they said that 250 people were in front of me.
“Then I went back six months later and there were even more people in front of me that had been prioritised,” she said.
Paula searched for over a year to find housing that would accept rent allowance. “I viewed over 50 properties and I just never got a call back,” she said.
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