A right to a home must be enshrined in our Constitution says Kitt
By Kernan Andrews
There must be a legal right to housing for all citizens of this State and this right must be enshrined in our Constitution, according to Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Michael Kitt.
Dep Kitt, who is the party spokesperson on housing, is calling on the Government to include the “Right to a Home” in the second phase of the Constitutional Convention.
He said “the failure to include the right to a home for examination” in the first stage of the convention is “a mistake”.
He added that a right to a home is “not just about homelessness” but is relevant to homeowners in mortgage difficulty; to those who purchased poorly built homes; and those renting or on housing waiting lists.
“Homelessness does not refer solely to those who are sleeping rough,” he said. “Those living in hostels or sleeping on a friend’s sofa, or those who remain in hospital because they have nowhere else to recuperate are also affected by these issues.
“They are unable to afford the rent on independent accommodation and have no choice to but remain in emergency accommodation for very long periods. This also blocks up access for other young homeless people who require those facilities.”
Dep Kitt is called on the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to resolve this situation and ensure that the procedures and policies of her department are aligned with those in local authorities in Galway and around the country.
“Providing all citizens with a constitutional right to a home would ensure greater stability in society,” he said. “It would also be a key factor in the prevention of homelessness and resulting problems in society.”