Master of High Court says Government must assert its right to address housing crisis

Edmund Honohan says the national crisis does not need "joke solutions" like modular housing

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Tyrrelstown protesters outside Leinster House in Dublin today ahead of a meeting of the Housing and Homeless Committee. Image:

The Master of the High Court says the Government must assert its right to address the housing crisis, regardless of Europe's fiscal rules.

Edmund Honohan has told a special Dáil committee that the solution could be to use compulsory purchase orders for the immediate seizure of vacant properties.

He says he fears local authorities will end up building 'another Ballymun' and says the crisis does not need "joke solutions" like modular housing.

Mr Honohan says the solution is for Ireland to borrow money at below 1% and buy up housing stock.

"We need to assert the right of the Irish Government to attend to a national crisis in as economic and efficient a way as possible," he added.

Mr Honohan was attending the Dáil's new housing committee, which is hearing from legal experts on the homelessness crisis today.

Human rights experts are among the others set to address the group.

The cross-party committee has just over a month to produce a report on how the Government should tackle the issue.

Over 6,000 people are currently in emergency accommodation.

The meeting comes as the Workers Party launched a new report calling for the Government to take over the building of social housing from local authorities.