Constitutional Reform essential to solve housing and homelessness crisis – Cllr. Carly Bailey, Dublin South West candidate

The Social Democrats, as part of their Housing policy in GE2020  – Homes within Reach: Making housing available, making housing affordablehave called for essential Constitutional change as part of the resolution of the housing and homelessness crisis.

Speaking before the launch of the ‘Homes for Good’ campaign today, Cllr. Carly Bailey, general election candidate in Dublin South West, outlined the commitments of the Social Democrats to address two constitutional issues that would underpin radical reform on how the government solves the housing and homelessness crisis.

“We believe that everyone should have a right to a place to call home. This right to housing should be enshrined in the Constitution in a way that would place a significant responsibility on the Government to pursue this right through its actions in legislation, in policy and in service delivery.

Speaking on the use of the Constitution to limit reforms such as a nationwide rent freeze, Bailey said:

“Article 43 of the Constitution seeks to balance private property rights with the common good. The problem is that, too often, the common good loses out. This holds us back on reforming issues such as nationwide rent freezes, security of tenure and addressing upward-only rent reviews.

“Successive governments hid behind a conservative interpretation of this provision to avoid taking the radical steps needed to deal with our dysfunctional housing sector.

“If we are to put the common good at the heart of our efforts to bring the housing crisis to an end, we need certainty around Article 43.

“In the absence of the State taking a challenge through legal action, we favour bringing forward a referendum to let the people decide if the balance should be weighted more towards the common good.

We strongly believe that Irish people would support these referendums as they are about the kind of society we aspire to, a fair society, where nobody is left behind.”


22nd January 2020

1. Our General Election Housing Policy – Homes within Reach-  is available here.

2. The Social Democrats are running 20 candidates in #GE2020, including Catherine Murphy in Kildare North and Cllr. Carly Bailey in Dublin South West.
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