Anger On The Streets Amid Calls for ‘National Emergency’

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Over 6,000 students took to the streets angry at how the housing crisis is affecting them.

A rally ‘Raise the Roof‘ saw student bodies, trade unions, homeless charities and civil liberty groups take part in an unprecedented event.

A Dáil motion put forward by Solidarity is calling for the crises in housing and homelessness to be declared a national emergency. The Union of Students in Ireland want to see more purpose-built affordable student accommodation.

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Fianna Fail will back a Solidarity motion being brought before the Dail which will result in the government losing the vote. It will also call for €2.3b to be set aside in the budget for capital spending on housing.

The Taoiseach says calling it an emergency won’t put a roof over people’s heads but Leo Varadkar admitted the housing crisis is frustrating.

“I know that lots of people are frustrated by the pace of delivery – I’m frustrated by it too, as is everybody in Government.

“We share those concerns, we share those frustrations, and share the desire to get results much more quickly – and this is something the Government is investing huge resources in, and huge amounts of Government time.”

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said statistics won’t change the problem.

“I just think it’s manipulation of the figures in order to keep the homeless count under 10,000.

“But listen – if you’re homeless, if you can’t afford the rent, if you’re faced with eviction: all the statistics in the world won’t change that.