Activists taking action on housing

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Economic data has revealed that some 300,000 people in the 26 Counties are facing impoverishment as a direct result of the housing crisis there.

Despite the Dublin government recording its highest ever tax take of €68.4 billion this week, it has refused to advance a programme of public sector construction to deal with the housing shortage.

The main coalition parties both draw strong support from landlords and private investors who stand to profit as house prices rise.

The impact of their policies are particularly severe on children, with more than 93,000 children living in households at risk of poverty when rent and mortgage interest costs are factored in.

The rate of poverty risk amongst renters is a staggering 45%, or almost half, hitting one-parent families and the elderly the hardest.

The data has underlined calls by republicans for immediate action to take on the rack-rent landlordism and property profiteering that is taking place across the state.

The Cork 32 County Sovereignty Movement recently supported an anti-eviction action carried out by the Community Tenants Action Union (CATU) against an un-notified eviction on the premise that the home was to be sold, by a landlord who removed the fuse to the electricity box, cutting off power to the property.

In a small victory, activists were able to return power to the tenant’s home enabling them to cook and utilise a heating system during the very cold winter weather.

However, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement claimed the new landlord had been previously linked to a human trafficking operation which involved the exploitation of immigrants.

This allegedly included exploiting immigrant workers, denying them basic rights such as fair pay and breaks, renting slum accommodation at extortionate prices and exploiting women by using them as sex workers.

“The 32 County Sovereignty Movement will continue to support these initiatives to help oppose the exploitation of of the working class and expose slum landlordism,” they said.

“We encourage all members of the public to support these initiatives on a unified basis as these predatory landlords continue to be a plague on our society. Let us be clear that a home is not a luxury but a human right.”

The situation is being matched north of the border. In Belfast, a demonstration has been organised by the 32CSM is to take place at the entrance to the MAC arts centre at 6.30pm later today (Thursday), when a monthly meeting of property investors is due to take place.

They said the protest is being held “to show these people that their interests are a detriment to working class communities and are not wanted. We would encourage all Republicans, socialists, trade unionists, community and human rights groups to attend and show your support.”

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