HOUSING RIGHTS – HUMAN RIGHTS
A response to the Housing Crisis
IRSP Campaign for Decent housing
The Irish Republican Socialist Party will launch it’s national campaign for housing on Friday 17th February 2012. This will involve more than a dozen simultaneous protests around Ireland. These will take place outside of housing benefit and rent supplement offices.
The IRSP believes that one of the fundamental human rights is the right to shelter. The International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, an international treaty signed and ratified by both the Irish and British Governments. The IRSP endorse Article 11.1 of the Covenant that stipulates, "The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize
the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions."
Across Ireland there is a crisis in the provision of decent affordable housing. As well as that severe cutbacks in government spending is causing untold damage. Rent Supplement and Housing Benefit changes are having a severely detrimental affect on thousands of families mainly in the poorest areas. So called “austerity measures” are punishing the poorest for the crimes of the rich. One manifestation of this is in the provision of decent housing and in our view the failure to adhere to the pledge to continuously improve the living conditions of citizens. In this respect we hold both governments guilty of allowing living standards to regress.
350,000 properties are currently lying empty across the country whilst 100,000 people are languishing for years on housing waiting lists with no hope of finding a decent home. These empty properties can and should be taken into public ownership and allocated to those in need.
The IRSP have published a policy paper entitled “HOUSING RIGHTS – HUMAN RIGHTS, A response to the Housing Crisis”. This paper will be officially launched on Friday 17th February during our protests. We plan to distribute this booklet as widely as possible. We have also produced leaflets, posters and a dedicated web page on the issue of housing in Ireland. All of our printed information is available from our on-street information stalls, our offices and online. We will also be distributing information door to door. All of our information is available from: www.irsp.ie/housing
In the coming weeks we will be increasing our efforts at getting this information into the public domain. We will be delivering thousands of leaflets and posters as well as visually identifying empty properties that should be used to alleviate the housing crisis.
All IRSP activists will be playing a full and active role in this campaign but we will not be limiting participation to IRSP members only. In fact we will be actively encouraging all those truly interested in furthering the aims of the Irish working class to join with us in helping to highlight the issues that are affecting our class, housing being just one of them.