Seanad debates

Friday, 4 June 2021

9:30 am

Photo of Róisín GarveyRóisín Garvey (Green Party)

I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I do not see how anyone could have an issue with this motion. It simply enshrines the right to housing in the Constitution. As the motion states, it is a basic human right. It acknowledges far too many people are homeless and asks that the following is put into our Constitution: "the State has responsibility to protect citizens right to a home". The motion includes some very strong constitutional amendments such as:

'The State recognises, and shall vindicate, the right of all persons to have access to adequate housing,

The State shall, through legislative and other measures, provide for the realisation of this right within its available resources.'

It would be useful if the Opposition offered to work with Government parties in helping resolve the housing crisis, which has no quick fix. This Bill is far from perfect but no one Bill, no matter who wrote it, would solve the housing problem overnight. However, it is a big step in the right direction. The Bill will lead to more houses being built on public land, more people being able to buy their own houses and, for the first time ever, a brilliant cost-rental scheme with security of tenure. I support this motion. It is another step in the right direction.

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