‘The Government must act on hous­ing’ - pub­lic meet­ing told

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

“It is no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that the hous­ing cri­sis is dam­ag­ing the lives of hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple and their fam­i­lies.” the Pres­i­dent of the SIPTU Trade Union, Mr Padraic Pey­ton told a “Raise the Roof ” pub­lic meet­ing in Sligo last week.

The Raise the Roof cam­paign is an Ir­ish Congress of Trade Unions spon­sored cam­paign de­mand­ing ac­tion on the hous­ing cri­sis which has the sup­port of nu­mer­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties, stu­dents’ unions and com­mu­nity groups.

“As with any cri­sis it is work­ing peo­ple, those on low and av­er­age in­comes who suf­fer the most. Buy­ing your own home is now be­yond reach for a gen­er­a­tion of young peo­ple.” Mr Pey­ton said.

“The short­age of pub­lic, so­cial and af­ford­able hous­ing means that tens of thou­sands are forced into the rental sec­tor. Rents are in­creas­ing, as land­lords take ad­van­tage of the sup­ply short­age de­spite the government cap in some parts of the coun­try.

“Young work­ers and stu­dents find it al­most im­pos­si­ble to find de­cent ac­com­mo­da­tion at af­ford­able prices.” he said.

Mr Corey Whyte of Unite the Union said, “Ire­land is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the worst hous­ing and home­less­ness emer­gency in its his­tory. The lat­est pro­posal from government for a Land De­vel­op­ment Agency (LDA) demon­strates clearly that the Government, and Fine Gael in par­tic­u­lar, is still wed­ded to the false be­lief that the pri­vate sec­tor can de­liver the af­ford­able, qual­ity and se­cure hous­ing to which every cit­i­zen is en­ti­tled.

“While it claims that the LDA will de­liver 150,000 new homes over 20 years, it con­cedes that none will com­pleted be­fore 2020. The pro­posal also in­volves the State hand­ing over pub­lic land to pri­vate de­vel­op­ers who will then be ex­pected to de­liver ‘up to’ 30% so­cial and af­ford­able hous­ing on each pro­ject.”

Denise Cur­ran of the Man­date Trade Union said: “Hous­ing Min­is­ter Eoghan Mur­phy be­lieves and tells us that an “af­ford­able” house is one priced at €320,000? I would point out that a Tesco re­tail worker on a full-time con­tract at the top end of that com­pany’s pay scales barely earns in a year the €32,000 re­quired for the de­posit for this af­ford­able house.”

Mr Pat Fal­lon the Chair­man of the Sligo branch of the FORSA trade union said: “Soar­ing rents have put huge fi­nan­cial strain on many ten­ants in pri­vate rented ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“Mean­while Coun­cil hous­ing wait­ing lists grow ever longer and home­less num­bers are at record lev­els. The Raise the Roof cam­paign is de­mand­ing rad­i­cal ac­tion on the cri­sis, in­clud­ing the con­struc­tion of qual­ity, af­ford­able pub­lic hous­ing, pre­vent­ing peo­ple from be­ing evicted into home­less­ness and en­shrin­ing the right to hous­ing in the con­sti­tu­tion.” he said.

Speak­ers at the ‘Raise the Roof’ pub­lic meet­ing Pat Fal­lon (Forsa), Denise Cur­ran (Man­date), Padraig Pey­ton (Siptu) and Corey Whyte (Unite).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.