Words: Eva O’Beirne
Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien has said a referendum to deliver a constitutional right to housing may be held in 2023.
The Housing for All plan contains a commitment to forming a housing commission that would bring forward proposals for a referendum. O’Brien said the commission would form a working group to decide if a referendum should take place and, if so, what form it would take: “So if it were to be agreed, and I can’t prejudge what work will be done by the commission… I don’t see any reason why a referendum wouldn’t happen next year.”
The Minister for Housing described it as a step forward that the Government is seeking to put in the constitution a right to housing, which raises the prospect of being taken to court for a breach of such a right.
“Obviously, you wouldn’t want a situation where someone thinks they have to take the Government to court to vindicate their rights but I think if you look at it from another perspective, it’s a Government being open about this. We actually want citizens to have rights enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.
Opposition TDs have criticised the move as “pointless” as they believe the Government is avoiding the issue.
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