European report critical of Ireland's housing standards

Updated / Wednesday, 24 Mar 2021 20:19

The report found that Ireland remains in breach of Article 16 of the European Social Charter

By Conor Hunt

A human rights committee of the Council of Europe has found that local authority tenants in Ireland continue to live with inadequate housing standards.

The report by the Committee of Social Rights also states that a number of Traveller accommodation sites are in poor condition and found that Ireland remains in breach of Article 16 of the European Social Charter.

In 2017, the Strasbourg-based committee found that the State had failed to ensure the right to housing of an adequate standard for a not insignificant number of families.

It also stated that as a result, Ireland was violating Article 16, concerning the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection.

Today's progress report notes that the Government has undertaken certain measures to improve the situation and to enhance standards.

It highlights various maintenance works, regeneration projects, and the commitment for an extra 50,000 social houses.

It says though, that despite the progress, there are still substantial limitations in providing adequate accommodation to a large number of families who continue to live in substandard conditions.

It states that the legal framework for the right to housing for families in Ireland is insufficient and that there are no national statistics on the condition of local authority housing stock.

The committee also upholds its 2015 finding on Traveller accommodation. While noting some progress, it states there is still a substantial shortfall in the provision of accommodation.

It says the main positive development was the creation of an expert group on the matter, but says a series of recommendations made by them have not yet been fully implemented.

It says, as indicated in the comments provided by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, a number of sites are in poor condition, lack maintenance and are badly located.

Another progress report on the matter is due to follow.