Fingal Independent - - NEWS - By JOHN MAN­NING

WHILE thou­sands that protested against the hous­ing cri­sis at Le­in­ster House, last week as a Dáil de­bate raged over whether the cri­sis should be deckared a na­tional emer­gency, a mother and daugh­ter pre­sented to a Fin­gal TD’S clinic who were sleep­ing on a sofa in a famly mem­ber’s home.

Deputy Louise O’reilly TD (SF) said: ‘It was quite telling that on the very day of the protest, a mother of one pre­sented at one of my clin­ics in Fin­gal look­ing for as­sis­tance, as both her­self and her daugh­ter were sleep­ing on a sofa in a fam­ily mem­bers over­crowded house as she could not find a self-ac­com­mo­dat­ing bed for the night.’

She com­mended the or­gan­is­ers of the Raise the Roof rally last Wed­nes­day out­side the Dáil and said: ‘The 20,000 peo­ple who gath­ered out­side the Dáil to­day were there to tell this Gov­ern­ment that their hous­ing pol­icy is not work­ing and that they de­mand bet­ter.

‘They rep­re­sented hun­dreds of thou­sands more peo­ple. All the young peo­ple locked out of se­cure and af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tion. Fam­i­lies from across the State trapped in emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion and sin­gle peo­ple stuck in hos­tels or rough sleep­ing.

‘They also rep­re­sented the work­ers pay­ing more than 30% of their in­come on rent or mort­gages, the Trav­ellers liv­ing in squalor and mi­grants liv­ing in ap­palling con­di­tions or trapped in di­rect pro­vi­sion.’

Ad­dress­ing the mo­tion be­ing de­bated in the Dáil she said: ‘The mo­tion spon­sored by Sol­i­dar­ity/pbp, Sinn Féin, The Green Party, In­de­pen­dents 4 Change, Labour and other In­de­pen­dents re­flects the de­mands of the marchers on the Dáil. It was signed by 47 op­po­si­tion TDS.

‘It calls on the gov­ern­ment to de­clare an emer­gency, to dou­ble cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in pub­lic hous­ing to meet so­cial and af­ford­able hous­ing need and to in­crease the stock of pub­lic hous­ing by 15,000 units next year.

‘It also calls for emer­gency mea­sures to stem the flow of fam­i­lies into home­less­ness, to take ac­tion to halt the rental cri­sis and to pass leg­is­la­tion to al­low the hold­ing of a ref­er­en­dum to en­shrine the right to hous­ing in the Con­sti­tu­tion’

She warned there would be fur­ther protests if cri­sis is not tack­led, say­ing: ‘To­day was just the be­gin­ning of Raise the Roof and we will not stop un­til we have a gov­ern­ment that de­liv­ers se­cure and af­ford­able homes.’

A num­ber of lo­cal TDS con­trib­uted to the de­bate that saw the mo­tion pass.

Deputy Louise O’reilly TD

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