Words: Eva O’Beirne
The Raise the Roof campaign group will hold a national Rally for Housing in Dublin on Saturday 26 November.
A series of major public meetings on housing in the capital will also be held in the next few weeks.
The Raise the Roof campaign group comprises of trade unions, housing and homeless agencies, women’s groups, political parties, representatives of older people, Traveller groups, children’s advocacy groups, community organisations and student unions.
The series of public meetings on housing organised by Raise the Roof will take place in a number of locations across the city and feature a range of speakers representing trade unions, political parties, housing and homeless agencies and others affected by the worsening housing crisis.
A public meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday, 3 November, in the Le Chéile Community Centre in Donnycarney at 20:30, and will feature: Frank Connolly (Siptu/ Raise the Roof), Rory Hearne, Cian O’Callaghan TD, Kelly-Anne Byrne, Lived Experience Ambassador (Focus), Cllr Alison Gilliland and Cllr Mícheál Mac Donncha.
Activist, author and assistant professor of social policy at Maynooth University, Rory Hearne commented to District on the reasons behind the protest: “The housing crisis has reached a tipping point. It is a social disaster, a social and economic emergency. I have been calling for major radical Government action on housing for years and I have still to see it.”
“A generation is being locked out of a home of their own, homelessness is at levels we have not seen before. They are angry and want a future in Ireland. They have a right to a future here. Protest is a vital way that people can express themselves and their views. It is really important that people join the housing protests and show that they do not accept this crisis and want major action taken on it.”
Hearne previously spoke to District about the benefits of a constitutional right to housing in Ireland, a topic that becomes a foundational solution to the housing crisis in his book “Gaffs”. He also offered some ideas for how to improve housing in Dublin with the District Development Plan. A more thorough analysis of these solutions can be found in “Gaffs”.
In August it was reported that rent in Ireland had reached record highs as available properties reached record lows.
There were just 716 homes available to rent nationwide on 1 August. This was a sharp drop down from the 2,455 rental properties at the same time last year. In Dublin alone, there were just 292 houses available.
The average monthly rent nationwide is now 1,618 euros while the average monthly rent in Dublin is 2,153 euros.
Research from Simon Communities Ireland also shows that as many as one in four people know someone who has experienced hidden homelessness in the past 12 months or has experienced it themselves.
New figures from the Department of Housing show that in the last week of August, 10,805 people were using emergency accommodation, surpassing the previous record of 10,568 people in July.
Focus Ireland has claimed that the official figures do not reflect the reality of homelessness in Ireland, suggesting that the number could be as high as 14,000.
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