Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.47 16 May 2019


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The Dáil has rejected a proposal to call a referendum on enshrining a right to housing in the Constitution.

The Sinn Féin bill was rejected by 60 votes to 36 this afternoon.

Following the vote, Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said it was “disappointing but not surprising” that both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil had refused to support the plan.

“The fact that they would refuse to even let people have their say on it in a referendum is unacceptable,” he said.

Deputy Ó Broin said the proposal had the support of the Mercy Law Centre and the Ombudsman for Children.

“This was not a radical idea,” he said. “The Right to Housing is included in eighty-one Constitutions across the world.”

“A legal right to a home is not a silver bullet, but it would provide a basic floor of protection and governments would have to take this right into account when putting forward policies.

“Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for this right and will be part of the Raise the Roof campaign on Saturday as it takes to the streets of the Capital.”

Sinn Féin brought forward the bill to coincide with this Saturday’s planned Raise the Roof rally in Dublin City Centre.

Musicians Damien Dempsey, Paddy Casey and Frances Black will perform at the GPO at the end of the rally.

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry will speak at the event alongside a host of unions and housing charities.

The rally will gather at Parnell Square at 1pm.

The latest figures from the Department of Housing show that there was a record 10,305 people accessing emergency accommodation in Ireland in March.

According to new figures released by the CSO today, a total of 4,275 new homes were brought online in the first three months of this year.


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