1 April 2016
By Elaine Murphy
The Workers’ Party has concurred with outgoing Housing Minister Alan Kelly’s admission that the absolute right to private property in the constitution is a barrier to the rights of tenants but the party has said the clause in no way prevented the state from engaging in a massive social housing construction programme of the type that is currently needed.
Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said that if Minister Kelly was serious about tackling the housing crisis he and the outgoing government had squandered five years in power during which the housing emergency became an absolute housing crisis.
“Alan Kelly is right that Article 43 of the Constitution is an issue”, said Cllr. Tynan, “but his call for action now as he is about to leave office is risible. Nor is it enough to simply tinker around with this clause. It must be scrapped entirely so that the public good always supersedes private property rights”.
Cllr. Tynan said previous government, even in the 1930s and 40s had built housing on a large scale through the local authorities, and Article 43 did not stand in the way of returning the remit of social housing construction to the local authorities.
“It is all very good having Minister Kelly mouthing off about Article 43 but the 130,000 people on the housing lists want answers in the here and now and they want social housing now. Whatever party or parties come to power when the current round of shadow-boxing in the corridors of Leinster House is over must grasp the nettle and undertake a wholesale housing construction programme. Only the state can be relied on to do that job and provide affordable, well-built and decent homes”. said Cllr. Tynan