Raise The Roof Webinar

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Raise the Roof webinar: How to solve the housing crisis.
A two panel webinar hearing from experts in the area and political spokespersons on how to solve the housing crisis

'Affordable Homes Key to Solving the Housing Crisis'

The Housing Crisis is primarily an issue of affordability and simply increasing the supply of new and largely unaffordable homes will not solve the problem, a major Raise the Roof webinar has heard. 

UCD Assistant Professor Orla Hegarty told almost 200 people who attended the online conference on November 27 that "housing supply is not the main problem and we need to redefine the ongoing crisis as one of housing affordability."

The online conference also heard powerful testimony from actor Jessica Freed who outlined how a lack of affordable rental accommodation left her "with nowhere to go" and has now forced her into homelessness. She said housing was an essential human right and saw no sign of current government policy upholding this right or bringing to an end the longest-running housing crisis in the history of the State. 

The webinar was organised by Raise the Roof and featured contributions from: Professor Orla Hegarty, Architect Mel Reynolds, Actor Jessica Freed, Focus Ireland and Home for Good campaigner Rosemary Hennigan and Anthony Flynn, head of Inner City Helping Homeless.  The event also featured a political panel, with speakers from the main opposition parties, including: Eoin O'Broin (Sinn Féin); Richard Boyd Barrett (People before Profit); Rebecca Moynihan (Labour) and Cian O’Callaghan (Social Democrats). The four main opposition parties are among the supporters of the Raise the Roof initiative. 

Over 300 people registered for the November 27 event, with some 200 tuning in for the day's proceedings.  

Architect Mel Reynolds criticised the Housing Assistant Payment (HAP) system as "hugely expensive and inefficient" and said the State could build public homes for far less than the cost of HAP. 

Rosemary Hennigan outlined the work of Home for Good on attempting to secure a referendum on the Right to Housing, pointing out that it would be operate in a similar manner to the right to free primary education that is in the Constitution. 

Head of Inner City Helping Homeless Anthony Flynn was critical of the official reliance on private landlords for homeless accommodation, highlighting the fact that some 20% of Dublin City Council's annual homelessness budget was being funnelled into the private sector, with a resultant failure to draw up concrete plans to help people exit homelessness. Information on forthcoming Raise the Roof events and webinars will be available shortly. 

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