“Housing is a human right. There can be no fairness or justice in a society in which some live in homelessness, or in the shadow of that risk, while others cannot even imagine it.” 

Jordan Flaherty

We believe that Housing is a basic human right, that this right should be enshrined in Bunreacht na hÉireann and that the obligation on the State to adequately house people should thereby be enforceable by the Courts.

As a direct result of the State’s failure to deal with this issue our country is now living through a homelessness epidemic.

Having a home is a social and economic right. Without it, a person has no security of person or identity. A progressive policy will develop a range of housing models to vindicate this right, starting with the ending of homelessness and the clearing of social housing waiting lists.  The current crisis in rents should be addressed through rent controls and market based rent supplements in the short-term but in the long-term the state needs to intervene in the market to mobilise the investment required to modernise the sector, including the provision of income-related rental accommodation to low and average income earners.  The State also needs to commence a national home building project. People should also be offered the opportunity to own their homes through limited equity ownership or non-speculative housing.  Housing policy should be based on need and choice, not speculation.

People will be offered homes through a range of innovative models including limited equity ownership, or non-speculative housing, cooperative housing and community interest tenancies.[1]  A new planning framework will incorporate anti-speculative policies (e.g. the Kenny Report) and socialise unused and derelict sites that will support sustainable housing development. We will provide adequately for Traveller accommodation needs in a culturally appropriate manner.  Housing policy should be based on need and choice, not speculation and capital accumulation.

We will ban economic evictions and keep land banks held in NAMA in state ownership to be used as a building block for a public housing programme. Further, we will legislate for the reform of the private rental sector and legislate to give security of tenure and for improved rent regulation.

[1] These are just some of the alternative models to provision of housing – all based on non-speculative housing.  For example, limited equity housing is comprised of a small mortgage/down-payment combined with cost-rental payment which provides ownership; however, when the house is sold the only return is the small mortgage inflation indexed.