The right to decent housing should be a legal right, say Irish trade unions. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is backing a broad national campaign for good quality, affordable housing.
The organisations involved include the National Homelessness and Housing Coalition, travellers’ groups and the National Women’s Council of Ireland. Some 10,000 people took part in a ‘Raise the Roof’ rally in Dublin calling for the creation of a legal Right to Housing, which already exists in 81 countries worldwide. This measure would help resolve Ireland’s current housing emergency and ensure that everybody can access decent accommodation.
“Most workers now struggle to buy a home of their own as house prices have spiralled beyond the reach of those on low and average incomes,” says the ICTU. “Soaring rents have put huge financial strain on workers, students and their families, often paying for poor quality accommodation with little or no security of tenure.
“It is also a key issue for women as our rate of female homelessness is now double that of other EU states and more than 60% of homeless families are headed by lone parents, the majority of whom are women.”