There have been calls for the Minister for Housing to regulate property-renting service Airbnb, as the city’s rental crisis reaches an all-time high.

According to figures released by Airbnb, approximately 640,000 people in Ireland have used or will use the short-term letting service over the summer months.

Guests with Airbnb – as well as hosts – are also expected to contribute approximately €57m to the economy, with most guests coming from Irish counties, or the UK.

It was also revealed last week that rents in Dublin are, on average, now 34% higher than their peak during the Celtic Tiger boom as demand to live in the Irish capital continues to grow.

The average rent in Dublin has now reached an average of €1,936 per month.
On foot of the news, Labour senator Kevin Humphries slammed the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, saying that Minister Murphy must “curb the worst excesses of Airbnb”.

His comments came as the city prepares to welcome Pope Francis this weekend, but also as homelessness in Dublin city continues to worsen.

Senator Humphries said: “There are an incredible number of properties across Ireland, especially in major cities like Dublin, which are being used exclusively for short-term Airbnb rentals, while the sacristy of medium- to long-term lets for working people has led to the worsening of the housing crisis.

“The Minister for Housing has had a report on his desk for six months with recommendations on how we can regulate Airbnb and bring more dwellings back into the standard rental market.

“I am calling on the Minister to publish this report and act now to curb the worst excesses of Airbnb.

“There are innumerable families, and single persons, looking for medium-term rentals, with a high concentration in Dublin.

“While the Government’s plans for house building are lagging behind its own targets, regulating Airbnb is one thing Minister Murphy could be doing to help renters.”

The availability of rental accommodation across the country has reached its lowest point since 2006, according to Daft.ie’s latest report.

The report was released to coincide with the CAO results, released on Monday, as some students prepare to move to Dublin for college.

Daft’s report claimed also that last year 38 students were recorded as homeless as this year marks six years of increases in rental costs in the capital.

The report says: “The SUSI [Student Universal Support Ireland] assistance grant has remained stagnant since it was slashed by the Government in 2012.

“The dangerous combination of this has forced students to commute daily for up to three hours one way, and just last year 38 students were recorded as homeless, resorting to sleeping on friends’ couches or in their cars, two even sleeping rough on the streets.”

According to the report, there were only 1,400 properties available to rent in Dublin at the beginning of August.