Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he remains committed to having a housing referendum.
right to housing

Taoiseach unsure if housing referendum will take place within this Government

Varadkar said that a housing amendment to the constitution should not allow people on the housing list to seek compensation.

THE TAOISEACH HAS  said that he is unsure that a referendum on the right to housing will take place within the lifespan of this Government, as he has not yet seen any “draft wording” from the Housing Commission. 

Leo Varadkar further said that the wording of any proposed amendment to the constitution with regards to the right to housing is “crucial”, as he does not want to see people who “stay on the housing list seeking compensation”. 

“Any housing amendment worth having must make it easier to build houses. At the moment you see judges striking down planning permission for new houses in the courts, I want an amendment that allows them to say, there’s a technical issue here… but there’s a right to housing, and that tips the balance in favour of more homes,” he said. 

Varadkar added that if an amendment was introduced by way of referendum that allowed people to sue local authorities, that would see housing budgets being “diverted to legal fees”. 

He said that this would not be “in the public interest”. 

Though Varadkar couldn’t say that a referendum will take place within this Government, he did clarify that he remains committed to having a referendum. 

The Housing Commission, which is made up of a panel made up of academics with expertise in the area of housing and social policy, Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, Patricia King, Gen Sec of the ICTU, and Michael O’Flynn, CEO of property development company O’Flynn Group amongst others. 

It is tasked with examining long-term housing policy issues, and coming up with the wording of a referendum in housing. 

There have been reports of a split within the commission causing delays to key aspects of its work, including the referendum wording. 

A report that was supposed to be delivered to the Government in July has been stalled. 

The Irish Times reported that as a result of this divide within the commission, two separate reports – a majority and a minority report – containing differing proposals, are to be submitted to the Government at a later stage. 

Speaking today in Co Louth, where he met with local businesses and community organisations, Varadkar said that he couldn’t say when the draft wording for the referendum will be submitted. 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel