Housing bill passes second stage in the Dáil

Housing bill passes second stage in the Dáil

Paul Murphy said in the Dáil that the Government's answer to every issue on housing is: "Constitution says no ... and the Government hides behind it." Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins

A People Before Profit bill to amend the Constitution to ensure a right to housing has passed second stage in the Dáil.

The bill would amend the constitution to state: "The State, in particular, recognises the common good as including the right to secure, affordable, dignified housing, appropriate to need, for all the residents of Ireland and shall guarantee this right through its laws, policies and the prioritisation of resources.

"The State, accordingly, shall delimit the right to private property where it is necessary to ensure the common good and to vindicate the said right to housing for all residents of Ireland."

Richard Boyd Barrett, moving the bill, said the it was first submitted in 2017, where Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voted against it and the Green Party supported it.

"We want secure, dignified, and appropriate housing into the constitution and to make it a right in this country," he said.

"You only have to think of the 100,000 families on housing waiting lists, or that rents are now running at an average of €2000 a month, it is a disaster and the Government have facilitated vulture funds and corporate landlords and prioritises their rights over the right of secure and affordable housing."

Paul Murphy said in the Dáil that the Government's answer to every issue on housing is: "Constitution says no ... and the Government hides behind it."

The Government abstained on the vote, allowing the vote to pass to the next stage.

Mr Murphy said the result was: "A maneuver by Government to move it to committee and presumably replace it with watered-down wording," and said if this were to happen there would be protests in the streets.

Minister of State Peter Burke said the Government was committed to a referendum on housing.

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