If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact
Hi all,
Vanilla are planning an update to the site on April 24th (next Wednesday). It is a major PHP8 update which is expected to boost performance across the site. The site will be down from 7pm and it is expected to take about an hour to complete. We appreciate your patience during the update.
Thanks all.

Right to Housing Referendum

  • 06-01-2023 2:07pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭

    Its looking like we could be having a referendum in the Summer about an amendment to the constitution which will give a right to housing.

    Based upon the reports to date, it is likely that the new rights introduced here will temper other rights in the constitution - such as property rights. It will allow for the likes of rent control, planning expedition for housing among other measures to be given a more sound legal footing. It doesn't appear at the moment that if will force the State to build more.

    While the devil is in the detail - given that a majority of voters are property owners or aspire to own property, I genuinely think it will struggle to pass.



  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    While the devil is in the detail - given that a majority of voters are property owners or aspire to own property, I genuinely think it will struggle to pass.

    First post on the topic and it is already been painted as a "us v them".

    I do agree the devil is in the detail and normally in this situation the detail means it is a bad deal for everyone but that gets lost in the noise.

    This "right to housing" is already been pushed by a lot of people as "free house for everyone". Which it is not and cannot be.

    The link also mentions a number of other votes to be carried out on same day, people living overseas are not entitled to a vote and should not be. If they want to vote then live here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    It will be an us versus them though - Constitutional referendums are almost always about rights and rarely about placing obligations on the State to end up paying for something.

    A right to housing will end up softening planning controls on residential developments, CPO's for housing and make it legally easier to have eviction bans and rent control - as this right would place a heavy caveat on property rights which currently limits them.

    Even a simple amendment such as "Everyone is entitled to shelter" will be legally expanded upon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,587 ✭✭✭Cluedo Monopoly

    They will make a bags of it I fear.

    I do welcome the vote to stop Irish Water being privatised which was the original FG plan.

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    The right to housing has got nothing to do with evictions. It is just pushing more and more rights to the tenant and away from the landlord. Which has been a massive success so far hasn't it?

    Planning controls don't need softening. Planning control is critical and when it was softened during the boom we ended up in a disaster which we are still trying to dig our way out of it.

    What we need is control over TD's/Councillors/parties/randomers blocking the development of properties. This is one of the biggest issues we have in Ireland. How many houses in the last 5 years have been blocked by parties for political gain? if those houses got built would we have a housing crisis?

    We also need to change planning laws to allow for high rise apartments in City locations to provide housing for young people, not allowing people to block the projects for years because of spurious reasons like "oh it doesn't fit the area"

    This vote will cost millions and not actually resolve any of the issues we have in Ireland because once it is done, a big development will be put forward and the local TD will reject because it is not in their parties interest and we will be no further on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,781 ✭✭✭mohawk

    I find this interesting. I obviously don’t want us to continue to have same level of homelessness that we currently have. I believe rental properties should be of a decent standard and people should be able to afford their rent etc. I think council’s should still be building housing for those on lower incomes instead of those people being on HAP and creating competition in private rental sector. (Although massive estates are a bad idea, smaller developments can and do work).

    I do wonder about how in practice you could actually implement this. Would it drive more landlords out of rental sector? Could the state and local authorities be sued for breaching this right? Would their be limitations in terms of residency and how long you have been in the country before this right applies?

    Once we have more information we can properly access if it’s a good idea or not.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    You say that planning control doesn't need softening then go on to describe a softening of planning control!

    And if objections were spurious or without grounds, they would eventually get thrown out - ABP would find against them.

    What you want to see is that developers to be able to ride roughshod over people's concerns.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    You just said you want to soften them and now complaining about developers?

    Keeping the same controls but stopping political parties from blocking is not softening anything. Political parties should have no say in the planning process.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭monseiur

    Planning laws are long overdue updating and be brought into the 21st century. There is something inherently wrong when someone from, say, Wexford can object to a family house/home being built in Donegal or someone from Dublin doing likewise to a house in the west of Ireland or visa versa. Members and associates of organisations like An Taise and other environmentalists have abused this privilege for decades and it must STOP Spurious reasons like rare species of flora, insects, frogs etc are being used by these objectors to the determent of small villages which are gradually dying, being deserted by young couples who just cannot get planning even on their own family farm. Schools, pubs, shops etc. are closing due to this gradual exodus of a generation and once gone these basic services will never return - the countryside is gradually being turned into reservations for these very objectors

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    It's worth noting that people do not make objections but make observations.

    It is up to the council and ABP to consider what weight to give them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,174 ✭✭✭✭blanch152

    A right to housing could lead to an increase in bungalow blight and permanently affect our ability to get climate emissions under control.

    The wording is absolutely crucial and unintended consequences need to be avoided. Putting something in the Constitution is a cop-out from dealing with real issues. That probably explains why nutters like Murphy and RBB are all for it.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭monseiur

    If I am, say, from Dublin, living & working there and I write to the planning office of Cork Co. Council and ''observe'' that a planning application for a family home by a local family in a scenic area in west Cork, if granted, would ''injure the visual amenity of the area'' In this instance my observation is in fact an objection - I am basically informing the planning officer that I'm not in favour of this application being granted and my reasons for objecting. Highly organised and well financed groups have become 'serial objectors' with engineers & architects among their ranks and no doubt a thick file of 'observations' on any planning application is bound to sway the planners final decision making.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    But it doesn't matter though, because if the observation has no grounds it will be ignored the person writing the planning report and won't be considered as part of the decision.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I see this trotted out on a regular basis however the amount of cases that are won show that there are massive flaws in a lot of planning applications

    Also, what do you define as "being local"

    • Within x km's?
    • On the same street?
    • Within the same county?
    • Within the same province?

    Its a slippery slop and one that would be destined to failure due to the fact that it would be classed as limiting access to justice which would fall foul of the Aarhaus Convention which Ireland has signed up to

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,209 ✭✭✭monseiur

    If the bungalows are passive houses with air to water heating, the owners driving EV's - that's close to zero emissions. 😊....besides whether we reach zero emissions in this country or double it - it won't make a blind bit of difference as in global terms our total emissions is minuscule. China, India, Japan, Bangladesh and many more countries are currently building and have long terms plans to build scores of huge coal burning power stations which will spew out billions of tons of pollutants every hour of every day. Sadly certain delusional people currently in power in this country believe that if we reduce emissions by not driving or driving EV's, by reducing the no. of cattle grazing (almost organically !!) in the fields etc. etc. the planet will be saved. ....God help us !

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,174 ✭✭✭✭blanch152

    Nope, that doesn't take into the wider factors around the provision of services to dispersed rural locations and the significant extra environmental cost of doing so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,758 ✭✭✭✭BattleCorp

    If it's put into the Constitution that citizens have a right to housing, surely that puts an onus on the State to provide accommodation for every single person who needs it?

    Am I wrong in thinking that?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Until we see the proposed wording its hard to know what the scope will be, but I'm guessing it won't place any more onus on the govt than currently exists. For example, you can rock up to a local council in the morning, tell them you've been made homeless and you'll be placed into emergency accommodation before the evening. That emergency accommodation could be anything from a flat/house apartment to a hotel/B&B etc.

    What will likely happen is it will be used as the impetus to further restrict the avenues to object to development, but we've already seen how that blew up in the govts face with the SHD debacle where they let developers skip the local council stage and go straight to ABP. This prevented people objecting at the local council level and left only judical reviews. What happened? The courts were swamped with JR's, which most developers lost

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,078 ✭✭✭✭jmayo

    What are these fooking services that you keep blathering on about in every one of these threads where you continually show your hatred rural living especially those one off houses.

    Some villages once had Garda stations with local living gardai which was a very successful model.

    Nowadays you give it the fancy term of community policing.

    Now there is station 10 to 20 miles away with response times of whenever.

    Having telephone lines, power lines strung across the country is not a service.

    Likewise keeping the roads in some decent fashion would probably have to be done anyways to give access to farmers etc.

    Or maybe you want the entire country devoid of anything except I suppose greenways for the lycra clad eejits to use.

    A right to housing implies that someone has to provide housing no matter how little the intended recipient does to pay for it either up front or on a continual basis.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,758 ✭✭✭✭BattleCorp

    I'd wonder why the Government are bothering doing it. Surely they don't need a Constitutional amendment to review planning laws or to introduce laws to make it easier/harder to object to housing developments etc.

    My view is it's a populist move to be able to claim 'Look at us, aren't we great, we gave everyone a right to housing', but what will happen is that there will be a raft of unintended consequences. But as you say, we won't know until we see the wording.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,766 ✭✭✭griffin100

    So what’s defined as ‘housing’?

    Is it a house with a back garden big enough for a 14 foot trampoline and a pony that you don’t have to pay any rent for?

    Would the right extend to me being allowed to stay in my home if I stopped paying my mortgage?

    The state already provides a roof over the heads of almost all citizens who can’t provide for themselves (and tens of thousands of non citizens). The numbers sleeping rough are small relative to our population and we are often told that rough sleeping is a more complex issue than just access to shelter.

    I think the state has done well to keep the headline homeless figure relatively stable over the last year despite having to source and pay for housing for tens of thousands of new arrivals. Will this right to housing extend to our Ukrainian friends and the record number of asylum arrivals we’ve had in 2022?

    If the rate of building increases and FF/FG finally accept that large scale purely social housing developments (which solved housing crisis in the early days of the state) are needed then we can go some way to solving this crisis but I wouldn’t hold my breath (I also think we need to prioritise access to affordable housing for key workers in cities, but that’s more complex I think).

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 6,415 ✭✭✭SafeSurfer

    Whatever the wording is I would always prefer a right to properly be enshrined in the constitution than a right to “housing”.

    Multo autem ad rem magis pertinet quallis tibi vide aris quam allis

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,565 ✭✭✭archfi

    My view is it's a populist move to be able to claim 'Look at us, aren't we great, we gave everyone a right to housing'

    That's my view too but maybe a miracle will happen when the wording is finalised (odds of that are worse than winning the lotto)

    The issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.

    The Entryism process: 1) Demand access; 2) Demand accommodation; 3) Demand a seat at the table; 4) Demand to run the table; 5) Demand to run the institution; 6) Run the institution to produce more activists and policy until they run it into the ground.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,025 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Not necessarily. There are positive and negative rights.

    For example, you have a recognised Constitutional right to earn a living. That does not mean that the State is obligated to give you a job

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,470 ✭✭✭✭For Forks Sake

    I'm against this on principle, the Constitution should not be a dumping ground for unpopular political matters of the day (see previous proposals to have an Irish Water referendum 🙄), we have no shortage of politicians, let them do the job they are paid to do and solve the problem.

    Also, adding something like the into the constitution could have an absolute raft of unintended consequences down the line, solicitors and barristers will dine out well on it.

    The ones that have been making the most noise about such a referendum are SF/PBP, so seems needless a FF mininster proposing it.

    You'd wonder if the thinking was that it will be rejected purely because the current government introduced it, and theres plenty of the electorate lining up to give them a good kicking.

    Would also diminish any appetite for such a rerun of same referendum if SF were to get into govt down the line, if it had already been defeated.

    *I realise I'm probably creditiong FF with far more nous than they possess.

    Post edited by For Forks Sake on

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Nothing wrong with a bungalow, the problem that was associated with the bungalow was they fired them up in random locations all over the countryside with no thought of the supply of water/power/phone etc

    Again it comes back to planning but I see lovely estates of bungalows built but very few and far between.

    Plus the issue now is people are still allowed build houses all over the countryside, now they are building big stupid oversized houses which cost too much to heat etc instead of small houses designed to actually meet their needs.

    Plus the CO2 overhead to build these oversized houses is affected the climate without even trying to consider the additional millions spent trying to provide services to them.

    All this confirms is the government are playing the same game as the opposition....

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr

    You don't have a right to accomodation. Glad to clarify.

    Naturally enough, this "right " will be extended to any fucker from anywhere who shows up looking for free stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    They'll already have their right to own door accommodation regardless.

    Thanks Rodrick.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,174 ✭✭✭✭blanch152

    "In the 21st Century, modern rural dwellers legitimately require a whole range of costly and complex services including healthcare, social services, education, paved roads for transport, electricity, telecommunications and sanitary services, all of which are much more costly to deliver at lower population densities."

    "In most cases, whether borne by government or utility companies, the costs are ultimately passed onto the wider population to become a hidden external cost."

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Personally I think its a cynical attempt for the Government to appear to be doing something without actually doing it. If it doesn't pass they'll use it as a get out of jail free card, like we tried our best but the electorate wouldn't let us make housing a consitutional right so our hands are tied. If it does pass then it will be used akin to SHD's were attempted to be used, basically they will let developers do whatever they want.

    They will promise reform of the planning laws no matter what way the referendum vote goes but as we saw with the seanad promises for reform on the basis of a consitutional referendum are fairly useless unless its something the Government wants to do.

    My theory is that they don't actually fully understand the current planning laws and I think until they have a proper grasp on those that whatever reforms they bring in will be plagued with problems. Even if they started over completely like a total blank slate there are still other laws like building control that have to be taken into account

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 11,470 ✭✭✭✭For Forks Sake

    There was no option of reform in the Seanad referendum, it was keep as is, or get rid.