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08/04/2018 Comments are off SIPTU

A new housing policy for the many not the few

A generation of Irish people will suffer over the failure of Government policy to deal with the acute housing crisis. Despite claims that it intended to place resolving the housing emergency at the top of its political agenda, Leo Varadakar’s right-wing government has presided over a continuing escalation in the homeless numbers.

It stands as a complete indictment of the Government that nearly 10,000 people, including over 3,500 children, are currently officially homeless. However, this figure is only the most extreme manifestation of a wider crisis. Change is also needed for the 100,000 on housing waiting lists, tens of thousands in severe mortgage distress and many others whose aspiration to have a secure home is obstructed.
The reality is that Irish society as a whole is being damaged by the lack of a ready supply of affordable and adequate housing. As with so many of the social ills which plague our society, it is an over-reliance on the ‘market’ and the downgrading of the role of the State in the provision of services which lies at the heart of the housing emergency.

Despite this reality, the Government maintains the ideological position that housing provision should remain mainly in the hands of the private house building sector with which the right-wing parties are deeply entwined.

Such an approach does not bring relief to the tens of thousands in housing need but does ensure that the profits of landowners, developers, vulture funds and landlords continue to soar.

Yesterday, Saturday 7th April, thousands took to the streets of Dublin to demand that the Government adopts a new housing policy, which is based on a local authority-led public house building programme.

SIPTU members from all over the island, came together to march with and in solidarity with the thousands of people in need of decent public housing, fair rents and real solutions to our o force the Government to adopt such a progressive approach will require prying them loose from powerful interests who place the profits of the few, above the needs of the many.


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