Charity and the housing crisis

Sir, – I was astonished to read that Dublin Simon is using its energy and resources in a scheme that might at best provide temporary solutions for a tiny few caught in the housing crisis ("Dublin Simon urges wealthy business people to buy properties for homeless", News, July 8th).

News of this development will give credence to the view, held by many in high places and which is at the core of the thinking that is failing so many, that access to a home is not a basic right but rather can be left to charity. Has something changed? Last year, while sitting alongside Minister of State for Housing Damien English, Niamh Randall of Dublin Simon stated, “housing must be recognised as a fundamental human right in the Constitution”. Mr English dismissed this out of hand. Has Simon now capitulated on this issue?

Why is it involving itself in a scheme that has all the appearances of being a vehicle for the moneyed to assuage any guilt they might feel as they step over homeless fellow citizens on their way to enjoy the fruits of their opulence.

I suggest that Simon make a sign using the words of Martin Luther King in very large letters and place it in a prominent spot so that it will see it often: “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”. – Yours, etc,