On 4 May, MLRC launched its Report on the Right to Housing in Ireland. Judge Catherine McGuinness formally launched the Report. Paul Sweeney, Chair of TASC Economists’ Network also presented at the launch on the economic context for the right to housing. The launch took place on 4 May, in the Georgian Suite, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. MLRC’s report on the Right to Housing in Ireland assesses the protection of the right to housing in Irish law and outlines the impact that a Constitutional right to housing would have. For a copy of the report, please contact MLRC on 01 4537459 or click here for a PDF version.
TDs, local councillors, and staff of organisations working in the field of homelessness were among the attendees. Many thanks to all who attended and for the vibrant and engaged Q&A that followed the formal launch of the report. We are very grateful for your support and thorough consideration of this proposal.
On the morning of the launch, MLRC spoke on RTE’s Morning Ireland and on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show about the Report.
- To listen back to this discussion on Morning Ireland, please click here.
- To listen back to this discussion on the Pat Kenny show, please click here. For ease of reference in listening back, the piece is approximately one third of the way in to Part 1 of the show.
On foot of this we were invited by the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness to present to it on the report. MLRC made a submission and presented to the Committee on 10 May. To watch this presentation back, please click here. For ease of reference in watching back, MLRC was before the committee in the afternoon session, following after the presentation of Professor PJ Drudy.
MLRC is calling on the calling on the Minister for Housing to urgently act on the recommendation of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness that the protection of the right to housing in the Constitution be considered by the new Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government, and a recommendation be brought to the Government on it. As the Minister prepares this Action Plan, this is a very important opportunity to take the next step to put this protection in place. In our report, we note that the right to housing would help those who are facing homelessness now and would be a fundamental safeguard against the recurrence of this gravely unacceptable crisis. It would recognise that a home is central to the dignity and potential of every person. The protection of this right would represent and be part of a long-term solution to go alongside the short-term remedial measures such as the very welcome decision to increase rent supplement rates.
About Mercy Law Resource Centre’s report on the Right to Housing in Ireland
Mercy Law Resource Centre is calling for the protection of the right to housing in the Constitution. The right to housing would help those who are facing homelessness now and would be a fundamental and enduring safeguard against the recurrence of this gravely unacceptable crisis.
A right to housing in the Constitution would not mean the right to a key to a home for all. A Constitutional right to housing would however put in place a basic floor of protection. It would recognise that a home is central to the dignity and possibility of every person. It would mean that the courts could look at the decision as to whether it was ‘proportionate’ by reference to the right. It would mean that Government and State policies and actions would have to respect the right.
The right to housing is recognised in Europe in the Constitutions of Belgium, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden and in the legislation of Austria, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom. Around the world, the right to housing is included in eighty-one Constitutions. The right to adequate housing is provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the European Social Charter. The right to housing would put in place a basic protection in recognition that a home is central to the dignity of each and every person and a foundation of every person’s life.
Mercy Law Resource Centre’s report on the Right to Housing in Ireland assesses the protection of the right to housing in Irish law and outlines the impact that a Constitutional right to housing would have.
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