The Irish Housing Network has been set up by a collection of housing and homeless groups fighting this ongoing housing and homeless crisis. We believe in the basic premise that housing is a right that should be provided based on need. We aim to share information, resources and coordinate action with groups across the island. Any group can join if they agree with the principles of the network below.
The current members are:
Blanchardstown Housing Action Committee
Clondakin-Lucan Housing Action
Irish Housing Network Principles, Demands, and Structures
1. Housing (long-term and stable, a home) is a right, regardless of income.
2. Those affected by housing issues and the communities in which they live, are the centre of the housing struggle, and their consent, participation and leadership is the driving force of the housing struggle.
3. Anyone who is a member of a political group, NGO, government body, etc. is welcome in the housing network, but while in the network they are working to empower those affected by the housing crisis, according to the needs and wishes of those affected, not the needs and wishes of their respective party or organisation. In short, political allegiances are left at the door.
4. While participating in the housing network, members are subject to the democratic process of the housing network detailed below.
5. Violence has no place in the housing network, but all other forms of action, direct or otherwise, are respected when appropriate.
6. No member of the housing network can profit financially from those affected by the housing crisis.
7. We affirm our belief in solidarity. All groups support and train each other, sharing their skills, experience and knowledge, as well as resources where possible.
8. Respect is central to the network. We affirm respect for the individuals and groups, within the network, the space in which we work together and the diverse perspectives and experiences (many of which are difficult and traumatic) of those within the network.
These eight basic principles must be endorsed and thereafter adhered to if a housing group is to become a participant in the housing network. Violation of these principles can lead to expulsion from the housing network. A contravention of the principles must be outlined in a Y/N format with reference to the principle included. EX. ‘Did this person receive money from a tenant to explain the terms of their lease? (principle 6) Y/N?’ For violations of principles a +50% vote decides the issue.
DEMANDS (A living document).
1. No Economic evictions. Families and individuals in their primary residences, be they social, private rental or owned property should not face eviction.
Housing Based On Need
2. All housing should be of a quality and affordability so that all can access it and live with dignity and decency
3. Housing provision should shift away from the market towards state, social, community and non-market based provision
4. Social Housing Should be built immediate to accommodate need
5. Vacant property should be turned over based on need
6. NAMA properties should be immediate turned over to provide homes and community and public spaces and facilities
7. Rent Controls should immediately be implemented
8. Tenants should have security of tenancy, no probation and secure and quality conditions as right.
9. Landlords should not be able to reject rent allowance, housing assistant payment or any other rent support.
10. A Tenants Union should not only be recognised but actively encouraged as a means of protecting and organising tenants.
11. When spaces have been empty for 6 months that there is a right to reclaim them for housing and community use.
12. When reclaimed homes and space have been put to use for 3 years they should owed by those who have lived and worked them
13. Homeless support funding should be increased and homeless support services should be an immediate right not an emergency last hope
14. Homelessness support service should exist based on the needs of local areas and communities not centralised to large urban centres.
Housing as part of the Community
15. Homes exist in a community. Therefore the provision of housing must be meet with adequate and accessible community’s resources, education and health, community facilitates and spaces to live and enjoy recreation time. The needs of families and children should be particularly meet along with those most vulnerable in society.
1. Each housing group retains its own name, profile, action focus, issues etc.
2. Each group endorses and adheres to the principles set out above.
3. Each group agrees to be part of a network, with the ability to formally opt in and opt out of the network at any point.
4. Working groups will be set up to deal with specific subset issues/campaigns/expertise areas as needed/wanted
5. Contact information is shared between groups
6. General resources are shared: knowledge, research, skills, information, contacts.
7. A forum exists to help the sharing of resources.
1. Groups continue with their own actions.
2. When appropriate they ask for solidarity from the other groups in the network
3. Solidarity is strong encouraged, but any group can opt out of particular actions
4. The network will plan and carry out actions together in the future.
Decision Making Process:
1. Attempt to achieve participative consensus based on meetings firstly and, then followed up via formal update on the forum.
2. If there is a contested issue we continue to discuss it at a meeting and on the forum and try to achieve consensus via discussion.
3. If an issue is still contested we summarise the issue and word it in such a way that it becomes a Y/N issue and then we put it to a formal vote. The housing network should ideally aim for a minimum 2/3 majority to make the decision.
4. When consensus isn’t possible, the vote is made on the forum so that it can be properly calculated.
5. All housing groups must be formally informed of all votes relating to the housing network.
6. Once all members and housing groups that make up the network have been informed, there is a cut-off point of 72 hours to vote on the issue.
7. So issues don’t become too strained, there is an opt-out policy for individual members and housing groups.
8. Each housing group has one vote. For members who are unaffiliated with any housing group they will be grouped with their interests (working group) or their geographical location, and each ‘working group’ or ‘geographical location’ receives one vote. When entering the network and when voting takes place within the network, the political allegiance of the individual or group will be taken into account so that no political group or party can have a majority within the network.