Trade unions, political parties, women’s groups, student unions, housing agencies and community groups have joined forces in Galway to stage a major rally on the housing emergency, this Monday April 8.
The rally takes place at 1pm in Eyre Square and is being held against the backdrop of a further increase in the official, national homeless figures, which have risen above 10,000 for the first time.
Raise the Roof is demanding radical action on the housing emergency at a national and regional level, including: significant investment in a programme of public housing, action on evictions and rent certainty plus the creation of a legal right to housing
The Galway rally will feature speakers from a range of civil society groups and entertainment from well-known Galway musicians.
Raise the Roof coordinator in Galway Clem Shevlin said they are urging everyone affected and concerned about the housing emergency in Galway to come out and show their support.
“The fact that national homeless figures have now risen above 10,000 for the first time highlights the gravity of the situation.
“It also masks a deeper problem in terms of the absence of decent, affordable housing for young workers and families and the huge insecurity faced by people in the rental sector.
“We need an urgent and major change in housing policy in Galway and at national level,” said Mr Shevlin.
The rally has been called in support of a motion to be debated at Galway City Council on April 8, which will be introduced by Mayor Neil McNelis. The motion supports the measures put forwrard by the Raise the Roof campaign, to bring an end to the housing emergency across the country.
A similar motion was passed by Cork City Council on March 11, following a Raise the Roof rally in the city.
Raise the Roof staged a major rally in Dublin last October, which saw up to 15,000 people in attendance. The rally was called in support of an opposition party motion on housing that called for radical new measures on the housing emergency. These included investment in a programme of public housing, action on evictions and rents and a legal right to housing.
That motion was passed by a majority of parties and deputies in the Dail and Raise the Roof is now calling for the full implementation of those measures.
Raise the Roof includes the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and affiliated trade unions, the ONE Galway movement, the Union of Students in Ireland, the National Women’s Council, the National Homeless & Housing Coalition and a range of housing and community groups.