UN Launches Scathing Attack on Government Housing Policy

March, 2019 - The United Nations has launched a scathing attack on government housing policy and its response to the current housing emergency. In a damning indictment of the official response, Ms Leilani Farha (pictured) - the UN Special Rapporteur on Hosuing - has written directly to the government highlighting how current policy undermines 'housing as a human right' and condemning the huge levels of global capital invested in the sector, which has led to the 'financialisation  of housing'. 

"We are writing to express our concern with respect to your Government’s practice of adopting laws and policies which treat housing as a commodity and undermine the enjoyment of housing as a human right. We invite you to reflect on the following concerns with a view to developing a human rights based response.

"Our chief concern lies with those laws and policies which have allowed unprecedented amounts of global capital to be invested in housing as security for financial instruments that are traded on global markets, and as a means of accumulating wealth.

UN Special RapporteurUN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leilani Farha, with a copy of the Congress Charter for Housing Rights

"This expanding role and unprecedented dominance of unregulated financial markets and corporations in the housing sector is now generally referred to as the 'financialization of housing' and it is having devastating consequences for tenants.

"Contrary to international human rights obligations, investment in housing in the Republic of Ireland has disconnected housing from its core social purpose of providing people with a place to live in with security and dignity."





Support the Right to Housing

Raise the Roof is calling for the creation of a legal Right to Housing in Ireland

This right currenty exists in more than 81 countries worldwide. This is a critical measure that would help resolve the current housing emergency and ensure that everybody can access decent quality accommodation, suitable to their needs. 

Support the Right to Housing  and Sign the Petition Now! 



UN Special Rapporteur & Key Housing Experts Voice Support for Raise the Roof Rally on Oct 3

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing - Leilani Farha - has added her voice to calls from some 50 leading housing experts and academics for a 'radical shift' in housing policy and in support of the Raise the Roof Rally on Wednesday October 3. (View images from the Raise the Roof Rally)

In a letter published in the Irish Times they point out that:

"...the current crisis is the manifestation of deep structural problems in housing
policy and the philosophy that underpins it. Unless there is a radical change, we
believe the crisis will simply deepen and worsen."

The letter outlines a range of measures that could be taken to address the crisis and calls for support for the October 3 Raise the Roof rally called by Congress and the opposition party motion on housing that will be debated in the Dail the same day.


Raise the Roof on Oct 3rd
Homes for all

Rally at Leinster House Wednesday Oct 3rd @12:30-2pm

Trade unions, political parties, students’ unions, housing agencies & community and campaign groups have joined forces to demand action on the housing crisis.

Join us on October 3 and make your voice heard.

Download a copy of the leaflet here


Most workers now struggle to buy a home of their own as house prices have spiralled beyond the reach of those on low and average incomes.

Soaring rents have put huge financial strain on workers, students and their families, often paying for poor quality accommodation with little or no security of tenure.

It is a key issue for women as our rate of female homelessnessis now double that of other EU states and more than 60% of homeless families are headed by lone parents, the majority of whomare women.

Meanwhile, housing waiting lists grow ever longer and homeless numbers are at record levels. Thousands are now crowded into unsuitable accommodation, with families forced to raise children in hotel rooms and other emergency dwellings.

Government policy to date has failed to solve the crisis. But on October 3 there is a chance to change course, when an opposition party motion on the crisis is debated in the Dáil.

The motion demands radical new action on the crisis, including the construction of quality, affordable public housing, preventing people from being evicted into homelessness and enshrining the right to housing in the constitution.

It is supported by Sinn Féin, People Before Profit, the Labour Party, Solidarity, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and Independents4Change, with others expected to add their backing.

The motion also has the support of a wide range of trade unions, housing agencies, and community and campaign groups representing tens of thousands of people across all sectors of our society.

A special rally has been called for outside Leinster House at lunchtime on Wednesday October 3 by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, in conjunction with the National Homeless & Housing Coalition, the Union of Students in Ireland, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and key housing and homeless agencies.

So join us on Oct 3 and help us Raise the Roof for change.