Loughnane demands council debates putting 'right to housing' in the Constitution

Right to housing would 'obligate Government to step in when someone is at risk of eviction or homelessness'

The Galway City Council should support calls for the right to housing to be inserted in the Constitution, especially as similar motions are going through councils in Dublin and Cork on March 9 and 11.

This is the view of People Before Profit's Galway City Central candidate, Joe Loughnane, who was reacting to a recent An Amárach Research poll, which found that 63 per cent of those surveyed believe a right to housing should be in the Constitution. That figure was higher among 18-to 24-year-olds, 78 per cent.

People Before Profit Galway, as a part of the National Homeless and Housing Coalition and the Raise the Roof initiative, wants to see a motion supporting such a right carried through Galway City Council.

PBPG has contacted the other members of the coalition in Galway - Solidarity, Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, the Green Party, the OneGalway initiative, SIPTU, FORSA and the Galway Congress of Trade Unions - as well as COPE, Simon, Threshold, Galway Housing Support Group, and the NUI Galway and GMIT student unions - about supporting a right to housing motion.

Mr Loughnane said a legal right to housing in the Constitution would "obligate Government to step in when someone is at risk of eviction or homelessness. It stops the Government from passing the buck to the private sector where tenants have less rights."

In relation to the upcoming debates in Cork and Dublin, Mr Loughnane said he wanted to see a date named for a similar debate in Galway, as "we can then mobilise the Galway public to be outside the council when the motion is being debated".

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