The campaign which is made up of trade unions, housing bodies, political parties, women’s organisations, students' unions and civil society groups is asking Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to ensure Budget 2021 makes “a clear and decisive break” with the failed policies of the past and for the State to “intervene directly in our dysfunctional housing market.”
In a statement released today, they said:
“Raise the Roof believes that Budget 2021 presents the Government with a major opportunity to make a clear and decisive break with the failed policies of the past by intervening very directly in the housing market, in order to reshape it in the interests of the citizens.
“The housing policy of successive governments has failed to deliver on affordable, secure and quality accommodation for hundreds of thousands of working families, young people, women, students, Travellers, older people, those with a disability and many others.
“As a result, we have experienced the longest running housing crisis in the history of the State.”
They are also calling for the Budget 2021 to create “a major State-led housing programme that would work with local authorities to build up to 20,000 public homes annually on public land, over the lifetime of the Government.”
They say they want a guarantee that public land will be reserved “solely for public housing” and the reinstatement of the moratorium on evictions and rent rises for at least the duration of the Covid 19 emergency.
In addition, they said there must be a “complete overhaul of tenancy legislation to deliver security of tenure and rent certainty for tenants” along with an explicit commitment to hold a referendum on a ‘Right to Housing.’
They said that the Programme for Government commits only to a ‘referendum on housing.’
The letter to the Housing Minister also stated that: “It is our view that the housing market is now entirely dysfunctional and utterly disconnected from its core social purpose, with housing the ‘commodity of choice’ for speculative investment, thereby ensuring that the market primarily serves the interests of large institutional investors, developers and land speculators."