PRESS RELEASE: Right to housing crucial to support family life
15 September 2021
Enshrining the right to housing in the constitution is the most robust and effective way to address the housing needs of Ireland’s most vulnerable groups including lone parents, people with disabilities, the Travelling community and migrants, the national federation for unmarried parents and their children has said.
In the wake of yesterday’s report ‘Monitoring Adequate Housing in Ireland’ from the ESRI, Treoir has joined in the ongoing chorus of voices calling for housing to be a constitutional right in order to robustly address the needs of Ireland’s most vulnerable groups. 
The document highlighted that lone parents and their children are overrepresented in the homeless population, on housing waiting lists and are far more likely to be suffering from housing deprivation. 
Damien Peelo, the CEO of Treoir, said in response to ESRI report
“We know from our helpline service that 67% of our callers in 2020 were living in insecure, shared or temporary accommodation.”
“The government’s shift from the provision of social housing to income supports that subsidizes the private rental market has led to drastically reduced bargaining power for marginalized groups, who are already at a disadvantage when it comes to housing. This has resulted in more people facing homelessness and living in insecure accommodation, which continues to be well-documented.”
“The government has not met its obligations under international human rights agreements to ensure that Ireland’s most marginalized are provided the right to adequate accommodation and housing which is essential for a stable and healthy family life.”
“The best way of solving this crisis is guaranteeing a right to housing, which we’ve seen an ever-growing public appetite for.”
Young parents fare particularly badly when it comes to housing needs. Treoir’s National Teen Parents Support Programme Housing Needs Census found that 20 percent of young parents accessing the programme had a serious housing need meaning they were either homeless, living in insecure or inadequate accommodation. This represented a marked increase in previous years, as the figure stood at 16 percent and 18 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Therefore, the government must adopt the ETHOS Light approach, which is standard practice across Europe to account for hidden homelessness, which will ensure that every person facing homelessness in Ireland is considered in housing policy.
The calls for a right to housing grow louder each day as more and more people become aware of our unfit-for-purpose housing system. Treoir looks forward to continuing to support the mounting support for a constitutional right to housing that address all forms of homelessness and provide secure housing to everyone in Ireland.
 Treoir is a federation of organisations that advocate for the rights of unmarried parents and their children. See treoir.ie for more information.
 ‘Monitoring Adequate Housing in Ireland’, ESRI, Monitoring adequate housing in Ireland | ESRI