The Raise the Roof housing campaign group has backed calls for a Right to Housing to be enshrined in the Constitution, as set out in a new Bill from People before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, to be debated in the Dail today (June 3).
If passed, the Bill would see the holding of a referendum to enshrine a new Right to Housing in the Constitution.
Raise the Roof has called on all political parties to support the proposed measure, particularly the parties in government, given the commitments contained in the Programme for Government on the holding of a referendum on housing.
While in opposition both Fianna Fail and the Greens publicly backed and voted in support of a referendum on the Right to Housing.
Raise the Roof Coordinator, Macdara Doyle said: “The creation of a new Right to Housing is an essential element in addressing our dysfunctional housing sector and helping to deliver affordable homes for all. Two of the parties in government have backed this demand in the past and they now have an opportunity to make good on that promise.
It is notable that this debate takes place on the day that the government is strongly advised by the ESRI to double existing investment in housing in order to tackle the longest-running housing emergency in the history of the State.
The ESRI report said that without a doubling of housing investment there was a significant risk of prolonging the crisis over a further decade and adding to pressure on already high rents and prices.
Raise the Roof has called for a major State-led investment programme to deliver affordable homes for all by utilising public land for public housing provision, cost rental units and affordable homes to purchase, along with measures to create genuine security and certainty for tenants.
The Raise the Roof campaign group is comprised of trade unions, housing and homeless agencies, women’s groups, political parties, representatives of older people, children’s advocacy groups, community organisations, student unions, Traveller groups, housing academics and experts.