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 May 2018, there were 1,560 children living in Direct Provision. These are children who have to come Ireland with family to seek asylum. They usually live in Direct Provision centres until a decision is made about whether they can stay in Ireland.
  • As of May 2018, there are 460 people  still living in Direct Provision who already have their papers (their decision allowing them to stay in Ireland), but they are not able to leave because of the cost of rent and the difficulties in changing schools.
  • The Homelessness report for May 2018 says that 1,724 families and 3,826 children were homeless in Ireland during the week of the 21st to the 27th of May 2018.
  • In February 2018, a report by showed that there are 3,150 fewer places to rent now nationwide than there was a year ago.
  • According to the 2016 Census, there are 329,119 children living in rented accommodation in Ireland, up 39.4% from the previous census.
  • A 2017 report from Focus Ireland  looks at some of the reasons why people have become homeless, with many revealing that they became homeless when their landlord decided to sell their house, or withdraw it from the market.
  • 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.