The President Michael D Higgins has labelled housing policy in Ireland a “great, great failure”.
Speaking as he opened a homeless centre in County Kildare this morning, the President said the housing situation “isn’t a crisis anymore. It is a disaster.”
The new facility in Naas will house seven men and five women between the ages of 18 and 25.
President Michael D Higgins has opened a homeless centre for young adults in Naas, Co Kildare this afternoon.
— Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) June 14, 2022
President Higgins said the housing crisis is Ireland’s biggest failure.
“I often ask myself, you know, how Republican is what we created and isn’t it sometimes very much closer to the Poor Law system, we thought we were departing from,” he said.
“That is a real challenge. I have taken as well to speaking ever more frankly in relation to housing because I think it is our great, great, great failure.
“It isn’t a crisis anymore. It is a disaster and I think we have to really think about meeting the basic needs of people in a Republic – be that food, shelter or education.
“Building homes is what is important. It is not to be a star performer for the speculative sector internationally or anything else.”
President Higgins was speaking after inspecting the new centre and meeting some of the young people who are living there.
He said housing is “about far more than bricks and mortar”, before adding: “Having a home is so important for every other aspect of citizen participation.”
Reporting from Barry Whyte