The Right to a home

The right to a home

Your rights under the UNCRC

UNCRC, Article 27: It’s your right to have food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met.

Your rights under Irish law

- There is no specific right to housing in Irish law.

- Under the Housing Act 1966-2004, it’s the right of your parents to apply for social housing assistance should they pass the conditions.

Did you know?

  • The right to adequate housing is about the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity. Unlike in some other European countries, there is currently no right to housing in Ireland’s Constitution or in law.
  • Social housing means that you receive a house from your local authority if you can prove that you can’t afford to buy or rent your own house. You must still pay some rent on the house, but you pay only what you can afford. There is a long waiting list to receive social housing.
  • According to the Housing Agency in 2017, there were 91,600 households that qualified for social housing.
  • As of June 2017, there were  1,248 children living in Direct Provision. These are children who have come to Ireland, with or without their family, as it may be unsafe in their own country. They must stay in direct provision, usually like a centre or a hotel, until it is decided if they can stay in Ireland or not.
  • The ‘Homelessness Report’ for May  2017 says that 1054  families and 2177 children were homeless in Ireland during the week of 23  to 29 May  2017. Some families say they are facing homelessness as they can’t afford the cost of rent
  • A 2014 report by Focus Ireland makes many recommendations about how to improve life for young people who are homeless. The report says that young people who are homeless need to know more about the services that exist to help them.
  • Rebuilding Ireland is a Government  action plan for housing and homelessness. It says that by mid 2017, hotels and B&Bs will no longer be used to house families who are homeless as they are not suitable
  • 9 out of 10 children reported feeling safe in the area where they live, according to the HBSC survey.

Hear your right – read by Ellen O’Mahony


As Gaelige

Tá sé de cheart agat bia, éadaí agus áit shábháilte chónaithe a bheith agat agus go bhfreastalófaí ar do riachtanais bhunúsacha. Níor chóir go mbeifeá faoi mhíbhuntáiste sa chaoi is nach bhféadfá a lán rudaí a dhéanamh a dhéanann leanaí eile.

Éist le do chearta – léite ag Keeva Ní Bhaoill


What children and young people are saying

  • “Some people around Ballymun, you feel real sorry for them because they’re homeless and they have no house… Everybody should have a house, food, plenty of water, nice fresh water.” – Stacey (13, Ballymun)

    “Children have a right to have shelter and a home because bad things can happen at night and any time.” – - Boys and girls, Clare

    “Houses should be built for homeless people – look after people who are homeless, and there should be homes for travellers who want them.” – Boys and girls, Clare

    “The views I have on houses are no steps, just ramps and sensor lights inside and outside the house.” – 14 year old, Westmeath

    “The right to an adequate standard of living is important because everyone needs a place they can feel safe and that they can call home.”

    “I think all children should have a safe home because lots of children in the world have no homes.”

  • Homeless Truths: Children’s Experiences of Homelessness in Ireland -

    A video made by The Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Ireland, following a consultation with young people to gain an insight into first-hand experiences of accessing and using homelessness services.

Find out more

Explore More – Resource materials for Teachers & Educators

  • Citizens Information Board – ‘What does home mean to you?’ Activity to support young people to explore the concept of home. In Rights and Entitlements for Young People (2010), p.125.
  • Focus Ireland – Without your home, your life develops differently. A CSPE resource to support young people to examine issues relating to homelessness (2013).
  • Trócaire – ‘Climate Justice: Displacement’. Activities to support young people to explore the role of climate in displacing people from their homes. In Climate Change 2 Climate Justice (2015) pp. 8-12.