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Press Release: ‘Right to Housing' Referendum

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Green Party Spokesperson on Housing Francis Noel Duffy TD has today (June 4th) called on Government to progress the Programme for Government commitment to establish a Housing Commission and welcomes the Taoiseach's comments in the Dáil that the government is committed to a referendum on the Right to Housing. Deputy Duffy also welcomes the motion on the Right to Housing being brought forward by Fianna Fáil Senators in the Seanad.

A call for the Right to Housing was a key ambition of The Green Party’s GE2020 Manifesto, and during Programme for Government negotiations a cross-party commitment to a referendum on housing was secured. The Green Party believes that the right to housing must be enshrined in our Constitution.

Commenting on the motion, Deputy Duffy said;

“I welcome this significant step by the Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil Senators to recognise the essential need for constitutional change to protect the right to adequate housing, as well as Minister Darragh O’Brien’s commitment to hold the referendum on the Right to Housing.

“This is a significant Green Party policy that was secured during the Programme for Government talks, and since entering Government, I have been engaging with the Minister and Home for Good coalition to ensure that this is prioritised by the Department, whether through the Commission on Housing, Department of Housing or both.

“While enshrining the right to housing in the Constitution will not offer everyone a free home nor will it itself solve the housing crisis, it will compel this Government and future administration to assert the state’s commitment to the human right to a safe and secure home. It will guide our judiciary and embolden our lawmakers to remove legal impediments to housing delivery that currently exist.

"A referendum on the Right to Housing will rebalance the constitution which currently protects private property rights under both Article 43 and Article 40.3.2 but does not protect the right to a secure home. Home For Good, a broad coalition of organisations and individuals, have long campaigned for this constitutional change, which they believe is essential to tackle our housing and homelessness crisis."

The referendum should be progressed and delivered as soon as next year, and the Green Party support the proposed wording for the new article by Home for Good which is:

Article 43A 1. The State recognises, and shall vindicate, the right of all persons to have access to adequate housing. 2. The State shall, through legislative and other measures, provide for the realisation of this right within its available resources.

--- For more information contact: Fiona Murphy Communications Manager E: M: 087 9740046

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