16 October 2022
By Mary Bermingham
The owner of a property website based in Cork says there is a serious accommodation crisis facing frontline staff and hospital workers, resulting in more of these vital staff relocating elsewhere.
HomeHak founder Pat Drinan says his company is in touch with healthcare workers on a daily basis who are seeking suitable accommodation, and he’s seen first-hand how difficult this is. He’s encouraging homeowners who have spare rooms to consider earning up to €14,000 a year tax free, by offering short-term rentals to nurses and doctors who might need a place to stay, in some cases for an initial period before they progress to renting a family home.
There were over 1,700 more nurses, and almost 900 more doctors, working in the HSE by the end of 2020, compared to the end of 2019. The increase in healthcare workers contributed to an expenditure increase of over €3bn between 2019 and 2020.* The INMO Annual Delegate Conference in May of this year heard from nurses who found themselves struggling to make ends meet due to rent pressures and the cost of living.
Pat Drinan said “The cost of living crisis, coupled with a dire shortage of places to rent, has made it next to impossible for many healthcare workers to continue living in our towns and cities, and in places that are convenient for their daily commute. These workers are the backbone of communities and contribute considerably to the local economy. We do not want to see more of them leave our shores in search of a better quality of life. There are tens of thousands of spare rooms in houses across the country, so it makes sense for homeowners to consider renting to healthcare professionals, even just for the short term.”
HomeHak aims to make the process easier for both homeowners and tenants. The website – HomeHak.com – allows home seekers to create and display their details in the form of a Tenant CV, to be found and selected by homeowners, landlords and letting agents in search of reliable, trustworthy people. It allows homeowners with spare rooms to know more about who they are inviting into their house, thanks to Stripe Identity and a streamlined online reference collection system. Homeowners can advertise their rooms or properties for free on the platform.