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EU report acknowledges housing as a fundamental right- Lynn Boylan MEP

14 April, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan this morning commented on report which has acknowledged that access to housing is a fundamental right.

Speaking this morning in Strasbourg, on a report she was a negotiator on, titled “Meeting anti-poverty targets in light of increasing household costs, “ Ms Boylan said:

“The EU has failed to recognise that rising poverty across the EU is a direct consequence of its austerity policies.

“The gap between rich and poor is widening. This is a fact that has been highlighted in numerous reports recently. In Ireland three quarters of a million people are living in poverty and 13% of those actually have a job so we need to have decent living wages.

“For example, a UNICEF report released this week has, to our shame, indicated that nearly one third of Irish children are growing up in deprived households.

Another consequence of rising poverty in Ireland is a severe crisis in housing and homelessness as a result of government austerity policies.

This report acknowledges housing as a fundamental right and its call for the expansion of the supply of quality social housing, should be heeded by the incoming government in Ireland.”

Ms Boylan continued:

“The relationship between the dearth of social housing stock and homelessness is undeniable.

In Ireland more than 6,000 people are homeless, 1600 of which are children.  140,000 are on social housing lists yet last year a pitiful 28 social houses were built.

Family homes are being repossessed daily while rental tenants are pushed across the poverty threshold, struggling to keep up with skyrocketing rents.

The Irish government does not see housing as a right. They see it as a market in which enormous profits can be made for landlords in the private sector.

We urgently need real action on this crisis in order to combat homelessness and poverty.”

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