Michael Staines
Michael Staines

08.00 9 Mar 2019


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A major demonstration demanding action on the housing and homelessness crises is getting underway in Dublin this afternoon.

The National Homeless and Housing Coalition said the demonstration is in response to the Government’s “consistent lack of political will” to properly address the issue.

It comes as the latest Government figures revealed that there were 9,987 people accessing emergency accommodation in Ireland in January.

However charities have warned that the true figure may be significantly higher, after the Government removed 1,606 people who were removed from the Department of Housing count following three ‘re-categorisations’ last year.

Inner City Helping Homeless CEO Anthony Flynn said we are facing a national emergency with over 3,500 children in emergency accommodation around the country.

“We are marching to continue to highlight the housing & homelessness emergency,”

“This is something that has not been taken seriously by the government to date.

“The complete and utter lack of social & affordable housing builds alongside the over reliance on the private rental sector to sustain the market is pushing up the price of rents and homes.

“Government must legislate for security of tenure, real rent control and affordable rents, like Berlin have done this week.

“Housing must be made a constitutional right. This is a crisis that is not going away and council & government alike must start listening to the will of the people.”

The National Homeless and Housing Coalition (NHHC) warned that rents in Dublin rose by an average of €606 between 2011 and 2018, according to Residential Tenancies Board figures.

It said this has resulted in many people spending the majority of their monthly wage on rent, “leaving many to struggle to live and leaving them below the poverty line.”

Meanwhile property prices are continuing to rise, making it impossible for many to get on the property ladder.

“Unless the government start a proper public housing plan to build both social and affordable homes on the zoned land owned by the local authorities and NAMA debtors the homelessness figures will continue to rise,” the NHHC said in a statement.

This afternoon’s demonstration comes on the back the back on a number of major housing rallies in the capital last year.

It is taking place form 2pm at three different meeting points – the GPO, the Housing Agency on Mount Street and City Hall on Dame Street.


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