Articles tagged with: Homelessness and Housing

Still Waiting for Housing

on Friday, 21 April 2006. Posted in Issue 52 Mental Illness in Irish Prisons: A Solitary Experience?, 2006

Peter McVerry SJ
April 2006


Housing Need

The findings of the Local Authority Assessments of Social Housing Needs, carried out in March 2005, were released by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in December 2005.1

The figures show a reduction in housing waiting lists of 9.8% from the previous assessments in 2002 (Table 1).2

Planning for People Observations on NESC Chapter 5

on Monday, 13 June 2005. Posted in Issue 50 Housing the New Ireland, 2005

Michael J. Bannon
June 2005
At the close of the 20th century, a mere five years ago, there was delight and optimism in planning and environmentally informed
circles that Ireland was for the first time ever about to have a hierarchically integrated system of interrelated plans covering the country and operating at every level. Preparation of the National Spatial Strategy was well advanced. The provided a statutory basis for the preparation and implementation of Regional Planning Guidelines. The Act also modernised the\'Development Plan\' process and established procedures for making and implementing Local Area Plans. This new approach to planning was introduced against the continuing national partnership approach, most recently articulated in .

Aspects of Catholic Social Teaching on Housing

on Monday, 13 June 2005. Posted in Issue 50 Housing the New Ireland, 2005

Cathy Molloy
June 2005
What Have You Done to your Homeless Brother?
The United Nations proclaimed 1987 the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless and to coincide with that time Pope John Paul II asked that the Church undertake its own reflection on the problem of housing. The result was What Have You Done to your Homeless Brother? a document of the Pontifical \'Justice and Peace\' Commission, presented on 27 December 1987 by its President, Roger Cardinal Etchegaray.1 This short article will focus mainly on some of the points from that document.

Housing the New Ireland Comment on the NESC Report

on Monday, 13 June 2005. Posted in Issue 50 Housing the New Ireland, 2005

June 2005

Margaret Burns*

In spring 2004, Focus Ireland, the voluntary organisation dealing with homelessness, placed a series of poster advertisements around Dublin city. These were designed to look rather like the plaques which are put on buildings to indicate that a noted artist, political figure or other famous person once lived there. A typical Focus Ireland \'plaque\' read: \'Paul Ryan, Homeless Person, Lived Here, August 2003\'. Posted alongside doorways, bridges and other places that might provide minimal shelter, they were a graphic reminder of the continuing problem of homelessness in the midst of a vibrant and clearly prosperous city. On the evening I first saw one of these posters, I turned on the radio and encountered a very different advertisement: this one announced a Holiday Home Fair for the latest location to become \'the\' destination for Irish people wanting to buy that second home abroad. The two advertisements pointedly illustrated the widening gap in the experience of different groups of people in Ireland with regard to housing (and income and wealth) which has been such a feature of this society over the past decade.


on Saturday, 03 July 2004. Posted in Issue 48 The Constitution: Private Property and the Common Good, 2004

June 2004

Dear Reader,

In this issue of Working Notes we examine the report on Private Property of the All- Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution Property, published in April 2004. The Report followed a request from the Taoiseach in February 2000 to “consider the present constitutional provisions in respect of property rights and specifically the necessity for up-dating those provisions which pertain to planning controls and infrastructural development”.

In the light of the recent constitutional amendment on citizenship it is interesting to look at the process by which the constitutional provisions on Private Property were reviewed. Following wide consultation, in which the Committee received 140 written submissions from individuals, groups and organizations and subsequently held oral hearings, a comprehensive 133 page report and a further 300 pages in appendices were compiled. The Report includes a detailed review of the constitutional provisions on private property and existing case law, the property market and the planning system, which enabled well-founded conclusions and clear recommendations to be made.

In contrast there was no public consultation prior to proposing the recent change to the Constitution in respect of the right to citizenship. It was not deemed necessary that the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution should consider the issue. Consequently, the debate was held in the absence of a thorough analysis. The result was that much information was at the level of anecdote and general impression; the failure of the Government to produce comprehensive research findings hindered a full and balanced assessment of the issues and the consideration of a range of possible policy responses.

The Constitution represents a privileged source and statement of values in Ireland. I believe that, in bypassing established procedures that ensure full public consultation and thorough analysis of issues prior to constitutional change, the Government did a disservice to all people who reside on this island.

Eugene Quinn
Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

Community Development in the Age of the Celtic Tiger

on Sunday, 06 July 2003. Posted in Issue 37 Community Development in the Age of the Celtic Tiger, 2000

Bill Toner, SJ

May 2000


Some dreadful planning decisions and environmental blunders were made in Irish cities between the 1930s and the end of the 1960s. It is hard to imagine them taking place today. For instance, there is no possibility that the authorities in Northern Ireland would today be allowed to drive a motorway through the middle of Belfast, effectively cutting it in two. No local authority would now be allowed to design an area like Drimnagh in Dublin, a development of over 5,000 houses built in the thirties without a single green space. The destruction of part of Georgian Dublin\'s Fitzwilliam Street, to build new offices for the E.S.B., could not happen today.

A Rising Tide - but no boats to lift

Written by Peter McVerry SJ on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 44 Ireland: Facing up to a Multicultural Future?, 2002

Homelessness revisited


Much has been written over the years about the problem of homelessness.  The causes of homelessness have been analysed and solutions proposed.   Working Notes has included articles on the issue of homelessness in the recent past.  In this article, I do not wish to repeat what has already been written but to look at the effects of the last five years of economic prosperity on the numbers of homeless people and on their prospects of escaping from homelessness in the future.

The Residential Tenancies Bill 2003: A Tentative First Step

on Tuesday, 23 September 2003. Posted in Issue 46 The Prisons and the Gardai: A Case for Independent Review, 2003

September 2003

Seamus Murphy SJ is a lecturer at the Milltown Institute

After many decades of neglect, the government is proposing a major reform of the law governing landlord-tenant relations in residential premises.  The proposals are contained in the Residential Tenancies Bill 2003 (hereafter referred to as ‘the bill’)(i).    As is well known in informed circles, but less so to the general public, the Irish tenant’s lack of rights and legal protection is embarrassing to the point of being shameful when compared to such tenants’ status in other EU jurisdictions.  The government’s bill comes not a moment too soon.

Housing Associations in Ireland: Present and Future

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 32 The 'Dependency Culture': A Good or a Bad Thing?, 1998


Housing is once again top of the political agenda. No political party in a country with 80% home ownership can afford to ignore the difficulties currently experienced by those wishing to buy a house. However, the current situation is indicative of greater changes within the housing sector.

Traditionally one either owned one\'s house or one rented from the local authority or from a private landlord. Now many households part-buy part-rent under shared ownership schemes and there has been a large increase in rented accommodation. While many new options have become available, the current high prices of housing, both for rent and purchase, has resulted in more people being unable to fund their own accommodation.

Dying on the Streets

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 38 Dying on the Streets, 2000

Bill Toner, SJ

November 2000


During the summer two young men from overseas, both English-speaking and white, were taking part in a Catholic ‘renewal programme’ in Dublin.   Part of the programme provided opportunities for getting in touch with the reality of poverty.   The two men chose the option of staying in a hostel for the homeless overnight.

Twenty-Five Years of Homelessness

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 35 The Claims Industry and the Public Interest, 1999

Peter McVerry

June 1999

Then and Now

In 1974, I went to live and work in Summerhill, in Dublin\'s Inner City. In those days there was no such category as \'homeless children\'. There were a few children who frequently did not return home at night or who returned home only in the early hours of the morning, but they were so few in number that they did not constitute a separate problem category.

A Green Light for a New Agenda on Housing and Planning

on Thursday, 24 June 2004. Posted in Issue 48 The Constitution: Private Property and the Common Good, 2004

Jerome Connolly

June 2004


One of the most ideologically and economically sensitive elements in any state is the legal and constitutional regime governing the ownership of private property. The regulation, taxation and expropriation of property raise fundamental questions of justice, equity, the right to shelter, the balance between individual rights and the common good. All these matters are addressed in the Report on Private Property of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, published in April 2004 (1)

Housing : A Growing Trend towards Inequality

on Thursday, 24 June 2004. Posted in Issue 48 The Constitution: Private Property and the Common Good, 2004

Margaret Burns

June 2004


The recommendations of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution on the right to private property and its relationship with the requirements of the greater social good, take on particular significance when seen in the context of Ireland\'s recent unprecedented demand for housing and infrastructural development, arising from nearly a decade of high levels of economic growth.

Private Property and the Constitution

on Thursday, 24 June 2004. Posted in Issue 48 The Constitution: Private Property and the Common Good, 2004

Seamus Murphy, SJ

June 2004

In April 2004, the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution published its Ninth Progress Report.(1) The Report discusses whether the provisions of the Irish Constitution concerning property rights obstruct social justice and the common good in the area of land and housing, with regard to purchase, planning and infrastructural development.

The Commission on the Private Rented Sector- A Reaction

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 38 Dying on the Streets, 2000

Seamus Murphy, SJ

November 2000


Country Owner-Occupied Private Rented Social Housing Other
Germany 38 36 26 0
Netherlands 47 17 36 6
Sweden 43 16 22 19 [co-op]
IRELAND (1995) 72 15 11 2


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We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.