Raise the Roof, a coalition of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, students unions, housing charities, and several political parties – including Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, People Before Profit and others – are set to host a March for Housing starting this Saturday (June 16) at 1pm from Limerick’s Bedford Row.
The march’s primary objective is to stand as a call on the government, both local and national, to take action on the housing crisis.
In a statement on the upcoming march, Raise the Roof campaigner Cian Prendiville said:
“The crisis has reached a boiling point, people have nowhere else to turn. According to Daft.ie there are only 10 or so properties to rent in Limerick city, and no more than 30 ever.”
“With the city seeing continuous growth of population this situation is not sustainable, people are being forced into hotels or onto the street. We are facing an absolute catastrophe come September when students begin looking for accommodation. Yet there are, according to the latest CSO data, 1,000 rental homes classified as empty.”
“We know that a rent freeze and ban on evictions is possible, and can work. We saw that over COVID. We know there is enough public land to build enough homes to clear the housing waiting list, and tens of thousands of vacant houses that could be renovated as public housing. We know this crisis can be solved – but we also know the government won’t do it without a fight. That’s why we need people to take to the streets like we did with water charges.”
SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union, are supporting the march. SIPTU organiser Arek Muszynski said:
“We refuse to accept that homelessness is the ‘new normal’. We refuse to accept that whole generations will have nothing to aspire to, as they are priced out of the market. This is a political issue caused by decades of political failures. However, we have the key to changing this mess and Raise the Roof Campaign is leading the change.”
The Community Action Tenants Union (CATU) will also be taking part in the march, and their member Laura Fahy said:
The March for Housing will begin at Bedford Row this Saturday July 16 1pm and is open to all.