People Before Profit Introduce a Bill to insert a right to housing in Constitution.
People Before Profit is bringing a bill before the Dail to hold a referendum to insert a new article into the constitution obliging the state to guarantee to housing.
The proposed new article states:
The State, in particular, recognises the common good as including the right to secure, affordable, dignified housing, appropriate to need, for all the residents of Ireland and shall guarantee this right through its laws, policies and the prioritisation of resources.
The State, accordingly, shall delimit the right to private property where it is necessary to ensure the common good and to vindicate the said right to housing for all residents of Ireland.
The reason for the move is that yet again the Irish state is facing a massive housing crisis. There are now 8,000 people officially categorised as homeless but the scale of the crisis goes far deeper. Rents are eating away a huge proportion of earnings and many simply cannot afford to pay them.
One result is a hidden homelessness where young people must stay at home with their parents, often until their late twenties.
With property prices rising, the scourge of evictions has returned as vulture funds try to maximise their profits.
None of this is inevitable but is a direct result of the ideological beliefs of both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.
Both parties believe that the supply of housing must to be left to market forces and have ensured that state spending on housing has fallen to one third of the level it was in 2001.
They have deliberately stopped building council housing in order to stoke up the property market and thus ‘incentivise’ investors. The result is a calamity.
The People Before Profit bill would change this by obliging the state to guarantee a right to housing. It would cut across the excuse that there are ‘constitutional difficulties’ imposing proper rent controls’.
It would force future government to build an adequate stock of public housing thus ending the shame of the scourge of homelessness.
State spending on housing fell from more than 3 per cent of GDP in 2001 to 1 per cent in 2015
The Housing Shortage. Fianna Fáil’s Remedy. A National Housing Board.” Or “Families to be housed in barracks?” (June 18th, 1963). Or “Need for action to end housing crisis stressed” (July 6th, 1968); “Declare a Housing Emergency – Labour” (November 10th, 1969); “Continuing house crisis” (February 16th, 1976); “Dublin’s housing shame” (July 26th, 1980); “Housing shortage criticised” (March 14th, 1990); “Crisis in Dublin leaves students homeless” (September 19th, 1998). “Housing crisis is the hot issue of the election” (June 3rd, 1999); “Measures to tackle housing crisis passed” (March 29th, 2000); “Market has failed to solve housing crisis” (June 16th, 2006).