European ruling finds Ireland's social housing stock of "substandard quality"

The complaint warned of problems related to dampness, mould and sewage leaks

European ruling finds Ireland's social housing stock of "substandard quality"

File photo

Ireland has been found to have failed to provide adequate housing conditions on local authority estates.

The Landmark ruling by the European Committee of Social Rights has been published today.

The ruling found that “a significant stock of local authority housing is of substandard quality.”

It means the country is in breach of Article 16 of the European social charter.

The complaint was brought by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) against Ireland on behalf of Tenants Collective Action.

Citing evidence from tenants, architects, and engineers; the complaint warned of problems related to dampness, mould and sewage leaks.

It's estimated close to 355,000 people live in local authority housing across the country.

Housing standards 

Cecilia Forrestal, spokesperson for Community Action Network, is hopeful the Government will now take the necessary steps to bring its laws, policies and practices back into line with European housing standards:

“The State has to report to the Council of Europe by this time next year to say what measures they are taking to address the violation and we too will have the opportunity of reporting our experience,” she said.

“So our hope is that this is the beginning of engagement. The beginning of really - meaningfully - valuing the existing social housing stock and the existing tenants and building a proper housing policy into the future.”

The FIDH complaint also warned that no complete statistics on the condition of local authority housing have been completed till 2002.

It also found that no national timetable exists for upgrading the national stock.

Ireland is now obliged to “take steps” to address the situation.

Slum conditions

Separately, it has been revealed that landlords in Dublin are cramming up to 30 people into properties as they rake in thousands of Euro a week.

A special investigation by The Irish Independent found that landlords are fooling council staff by hiding bunk beds before inspections.