“The housing and homelessness emergency is an issue for everyone and the rally in Cork City is an opportunity to show the government that a radical change in direction is needed,” according to Mandate Trade Union.
The Raise the Roof campaign, which is supported by political parties, community organisations and trade unions, including Mandate, is holding a major public rally on Monday, 11th March 2019, in order to demand a change in government policy which has thus far only compounded the housing crisis.
Cork is suffering like most parts of the country, having seen an increase of 32% in homelessness during 2018, with a surge in long term homelessness of 10% – a clear indication that the crisis isn’t abating.
Mandate say that is down to government policy.
“It is clear that the current government’s reliance on the private sector to solve the housing emergency is failing. What is needed, and Mandate has been saying this for five years now, is a comprehensive and well funded public housing initiative to be rolled out across the country,” said Lorraine O’Brien, Mandate’s Divisional Organiser for the Cork region.
The government’s housing policy is creating all types of housing policy victims.
Nationally we have 10,000 people on emergency housing lists (Mandate believes the figure is closer to 13,000). There are hundreds of rough sleepers in Cork, Dublin, Limerick, and other major cities. We have dozens of families being evicted every single month – with Cork rents spiralling more than 60% since the financial crisis, and then there’s the hidden homeless where thousands of people are couch surfing or living with their parents or friends.
“We all know somebody effected by this housing policy failure”, said Ms O’Brien. “And that’s why it’s important that we all get out on the streets to show our support for those impacted by the housing emergency and also show the government that their failures will not be forgotten in the next elections,” she added.
On Monday 11th March, Cork City Council will debate a motion on housing which will demand a radical change in policy. The Raise the Roof rally is hoping that thousands of people on the streets will pressure local councillors into supporting the motion.
“If we are to achieve change, we need feet on the street,” concluded Ms O’Brien.
All Mandate Trade Union members are encouraged to attend. Assemble at Cork City Hall at 5pm on Monday, 11th March 2019.
Please sign the Raise the Roof petition here by clicking here.