The All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution


The Simon Communities of Ireland welcome this opportunity to make a submission to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, we do so from the perspective of over thirty years experience in working and campaigning with people who are experiencing homelessness. We believe that as the social housing and homelessness crisis escalates an examination of the balancing of property rights with the principles of social justice is extremely timely. We particularly welcome the inclusion by the committee of the right to shelter within this debate. We would however like to raise a critical point of concern in the choice of language at this point. Irelands obligations under no fewer than five international covenants, which have the status of legally binding treaties, refer to the right to housing. While the right to shelter has been defined as encompassing all those elements which a right to housing entails1, we would be concerned that its use in this context could be viewed as an invitation to in someway limit the application of the right to housing. Thus, throughout our submission we will refer to the right to housing.

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