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People want constitutional right to housing – Dessie Ellis TD

21 February, 2014 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Dessie Ellis TD, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Housing and Transport, has called on the government to enshrine the right to housing in the constitution.

He made his comments following the publication of a poll by Red C on behalf of Amnesty International which found 71% of 800 people polled would support the right to housing being included in the constitution.

Deputy Ellis said:

"This is yet another poll in a long succession which show that the Irish people clearly want social and economic rights to be at the centre of their constitution. One of these is the right to housing which Sinn Féin have long campaigned to have enshrined in Bunreacht na hEireann.

“Right now we have a housing crisis across the state with well over 110,000 men, women and children in need of housing as well as approximately 5000 people experiencing homelessness with rising numbers sleeping on the streets. We know that these people are being denied their human right to a secure home, although the law has yet to reflect this.

“A rights based approach to housing puts responsibility on the state to ensure that people are adequately housed. It would be an excellent impetus to any government to really tackle the shortage of social and affordable housing. The state and this government, like those before it, have failed people on their right to a home.

“I call on the government to give the right to housing a dedicated focus through the constitutional convention and make a commitment to legislate on the basis of their conclusions."

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