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Inter-departmental group to be set up to consider proposals on a referendum on housing

The minister failed to give a concrete timeline on on when he might bring proposals to government.

AN INTER-DEPARTMENTAL GROUP is to be established to consider the Housing Commission’s proposals on a potential referendum on housing. 

Proposals to enshrine the right to housing within the constitution were first mooted with the government’s Housing for All plan, which committed to tasking the Housing Commission to look at the matter.

There had been internal division within the Commission on the matter, with a minority report getting the support of three members. 

Responding the the report by the Housing Commission, which has been debated throughout the week, but only published today, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said he will immediately request government approval to submit the referendum reports to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage to facilitate cross-government consideration. 

He confirmed that an inter-departmental group will be established to consider the proposals on a potential referendum on housing. The group will include relevant government departments and the Office of the Attorney General.

However, the minister did not confirm the timeframe for which this group would be set up.

In addition, O’Brien also failed to give a concrete timeframe as to when he is likely to bring policy proposals to government on a potential referendum on housing. 

Separately, the minister said the revised housing targets are due to be published in the autumn.

The minister said the Housing Agency will now be requested to review the recommendations in the report and provide costings and timelines, which aren’t included in the report.