The answer is public housing

Public housing‘Dublin’s landlords would rather put their properties on Airbnb than rent to local families’

These are the first words in an article published in ‘The Guardian’ newspaper this morning.  That’s ‘The Guardian’, in Britain. Sometimes it takes an outside eye to really contextualise the current housing emergency and the extent to which Fine Gael, as the party of the property and landlord class, is using this emergency to profit that class.

The obvious and only real solution to this emergency is a national public home-building initiative giving practical expression to a necessary constitutional campaign for a Right2Housing. We need clarity about this solution and demand an end to double speak and pursuit of the wrong outcome. Only public housing provides a real solution to the emergency. As Unite said in our recent pre-budget comment:

Social housing is about tinkering with a broken system. Public housing is about reforming and changing the system.’

Calls for social (or so-called ‘affordable’) housing may be well-intended – depending on the source of the demand of course – but they do not deal with the fundamental need to provide a publicly-built, owned and controlled bulwark against the worst excesses of failed free market economics applied to housing. Further incentivising that free market model by transferring public funds to landlords through HAP, RAS and other mechanisms allows Fine Gael to try to contain political reaction to the emergency within manageable parameters, but does not provide mid and long term solutions to the emergency. In fact it deepens and embeds that emergency.

Perhaps in 2019 all those concerned about this issue will be able to build a mass action-led campaign under ‘Raise The Roof’ which combines actual home building, legal and constitutional change, and the necessary protests as a tactic to bring the public will to bear on a political party in Government – Fine Gael – who will always put the wealth of the few above the needs of the many.

Click here to read the Guardian article.

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