Government urged to hold referendum on right to housing

Sinn Féin has urged the Government to hold a referendum "to enshrine the right to housing" in the Constitution early in 2023.

The party's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD made the comments amid speculation that the Government established Housing Commission is due to make a recommendation to cabinet to hold such a referendum.

“The Housing Commission is due to report to Government shortly on whether to hold a referendum to enshrine the right to housing in the Constitution," said Deputy Ó Broin. "It is expected that the Commission will recommend that such a referendum is held and will also propose a wording."

Deputy Ó Broin said Sinn Féin has long advocated for the right to housing to be enshrined in the Constitution, and adds that a referendum should be held early this year.

“While a constitutional right to housing does not guarantee ever person in the state a home, it does place an important legal obligation on this Government and all future Governments to progressively realise that right through their policies, laws and budgets.

“A referendum to enshrine the right to housing in the Constitution would also provide an opportunity for a state wide conversation about the meaning and place of home in Irish society.

“Ultimately the housing crisis will only be resolved through large scale public housing provision, proper regulation of the private rental sector and progressive activation of the private sector.

“However a Constitutional right to housing would be a valuable tool in ensuring that Government can not continue to implement policies that deny what is a fundamental human right to an adequate, secure and affordable home.”