Outcome of Housing Lobby of TDs Shows ‘Clear Political Appetite for Change in Housing Policy’

2 Oct 2018

Publication cover - Congress Housing Report 2018 Congress Housing Report 2018

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has published the outcome of a TD lobby campaign on the issue of housing that shows strong support for radical action to tackle the housing and homeless emergency.

This comes ahead of the Raise the Roof rally in Dublin tomorrow, which has been called by Congress and is supported by the Union of Students in Ireland, the National Women’s Council, the National Homeless & Housing Coalition and a wide range of housing experts and academics.

The Congress lobby campaign focused on TDs in Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Independents in government and sought their support for the Congress Charter for Housing Rights, which called for the declaration of a housing emergency, an end to evictions into homelessness, action of security of tenure and rent certainty and establishing a legal right to housing.

The lobby campaign showed the strongest support for the measures outlined in the Charter amongst Fianna Fail TDs, with the overwhelming majority of the parliamentary party stating they were ‘very supportive’ or ‘broadly supportive’. There was also support among Fine Gael TDs and some independents some of the measures. The lobby campaign took place between February-June 2018.

Speaking ahead of the Raise the Roof rally outside Leinster House on Wednesday, Congress President Sheila Nunan said the results of the lobby campaign “showed clear support for a significant and radical change in policy on housing, to tackle the emergency.

“We're told the land is there and the resources can be found. It now seems clear that the political appetite for a change of direction is also there,” Ms Nunan said.

The Raise the Roof rally has been called in support of an opposition party motion on housing that is scheduled to be debated in the Dáil on October 3. The motion is supported by Sinn Fein, People Before Profit, the Labour Party, Solidarity, the Social Democrats and the Green Party and Independents4Change.

The agreed opposition motion calls for measures similar to those outlined in the Congress Charter.

The Raise the Roof rally will feature a number of keynote speakers, including: Sheila Nunan (ICTU); Síona Cahill (USI); Orla O’Connor (NWCI); Peter McVerryKeith Troy (Homeless & Housing Coalition) and Aisling Hederman and others. Singers Damien Dempsey and Frances Black will also perform at the rally, which takes place outside Leinster House on Wednesday, October 3 form 12.30-2pm.