The Meath Council of Trade Unions has come out strongly in support of holding a referendum on housing.

The MCTU chairman, SIPTU’s John Regan, told Meath Live, ‘Last week, a public consultation on holding a referendum on housing closed. The Meath Council of Trade Unions made a submission to this consultation in which it emphatically supported the holding of such a referendum. However, we were disappointed that the terms of reference of this consultation did not refer to the right to housing. We believe that including such a right is essential to address our housing crisis.

‘Ireland is now an outlier among similarly developed European countries in that almost half – 47% – of 25- to 29-year-olds are living with their parents compared to 5% in Denmark, 18% in France and 24% in the UK.

‘A recent report from the Economic and Social Research Institute stated that if houses do not become affordable, less than 50% of under-30-year-olds will own their own home by the time they retire. Over 90% of current retirees own their own homes. The social implications of this scenario are deeply disturbing.

‘In 2020, the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing wrote to the Irish government to express its concern that “contrary to international human rights obligations, investment in housing in the Republic of Ireland has disconnected housing from its core social purpose of providing people with a place to live in with security and dignity.

‘Changing the Constitution to include a right to housing would require current and future governments’ housing policy to deliver on this right. It won’t solve the housing crisis overnight but it will require the state to ensure that housing policy is about people – not profit.’