Housing crisis and protests

 

Sir, – In her excellent and timely column “Huge housing protests will follow end of pandemic” (Opinion & Analysis, May 17th), Una Mullally looks forward to a renewed mobilisation of the housing movement. We share this anticipation.

Raise the Roof, an alliance of trade unions, student unions, housing groups, civil society bodies and political organisations, organised the marches of October 2018 and May 2019 that were referenced in Una Mullally’s article and were the largest housing protests seen to date. Raise the Roof also organised additional demonstrations in Cork and Galway.

Raise the Roof was instrumental in developing an agreed Dáil motion on housing that focused on the need for State-led provision of affordable and public housing.

This motion was passed on the day of the October 2018 protest.

Needless to say, its provisions were ignored and the housing crisis has worsened considerably since then.

During the months of lockdown resulting from the pandemic, Raise the Roof has run online events, webinars and developed campaign videos to ensure the essential message of the necessity for a radical reshaping of housing policy can still heard.

We would intend to mobilise on the streets of our cities again, as soon as the public health situation allows.

There are many admirable groups doing working remarkable work to counter the effects of what is now the longest-running housing emergency in our history and it our view that we can build a more powerful and effective movement to effect change and to ensure there is affordable, decent housing for all.

This can be achieved through an urgent and major State-led housing programme that would see delivery of affordable homes to buy and rent, new public housing, security of tenure and rent certainty for tenants and the creation of a new right to housing. – Yours, etc,

MACDARA DOYLE,

Coordinator,

Raise the Roof,

Irish Congress

of Trade Unions,

Dublin 1.