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Minister Coveney must respond to UN concerns over Homeless service provision in Cork – Ó Broin

30 May, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoin Ó Broin has called on Minister Coveney to respond to concerns raised by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on housing and water provision for homeless people in Cork.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The UN rapporteurs wrote to the government last September expressing concern that about the homeless situation in Cork.

“They also expressed a concern that there did not appear to be any free access to water and sanitation services.

“This is what happens when access to water is based on affordability.

“Access to clean water is a human right and the water charges seek to commodify this essential right.

“The rapporteurs also asked the government to state if the state’s National Housing Strategy complies with the obligation to take steps to the maximum of its available resources to realise the right to housing.

“Unfortunately in this state, there is no constitutional or legally established right to housing.

“Sinn Féin and the Mercy Law Centre, amongst others, have recently called for a Right to Housing to be enshrined in the Irish Constitution.

“This right would provide those experiencing homelessness with a basic floor of protection and would ensure that state policies would reflect and respect this right.

“Minister Coveney should take the time to respond to the concerns raised by the UN rapporteurs and provide them with the information sought.

“He must outline his government’s approach to both the provision of water and sanitation services for the homeless population and the timeline for realising a Right to Housing.” 

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