Protesters march through Cork demanding action on the housing crisis

Protesters march through Cork demanding action on the housing crisis
Cork City, Cork, Ireland. 05th December, 2019.  Protesters at the housing march organised by the Right2Housing group which was held in Cork and highlights the issue of the housing crisis and homelessness in Cork City, Ireland. - Picture; David Creedon

The protest started at Daunt Square at 12pm, and there was a variety of guest speakers after the event.

"It's scandalous... my heart is broken thinking about children with no home for Christmas."
"It's scandalous... my heart is broken thinking about children with no home for Christmas."

The march was organised by the Right2Housing group, a coalition of local community activists, people experiencing homelessness, volunteers and members of Unite Community.

Evie Nevin, one of the organisers, said that roughly 150 people marched.

"People are angry. They are desperate. They are worried about Christmas coming up.

"People are also very tired. They have been fighting for housing for years, and they have not much energy left."

Ms Nevin said onlookers on the streets were very supportive and they received a positive reaction.

"We had speakers at the event, some were mothers who were currently homeless, who were struggling to find a home.

"We also had Frank Buttimer Jr from the Connolly Youth Movement, who made an impassioned speech." 

Evie Nevin, Social Democrats speaking at the housing protest march organised by the Right2Housing group which was held in Cork and highlights the issue of the housing crisis. Picture: David Creedon
Evie Nevin, Social Democrats speaking at the housing protest march organised by the Right2Housing group which was held in Cork and highlights the issue of the housing crisis. Picture: David Creedon

Ms Nevin says she doesn't think the housing situation has improved, and the government's housing proposals "have failed". 

"Nothing has changed in the past few years. For most people, it feels like we aren't much better off than we were during austerity times.

"There are so many hidden homeless people, those in B&Bs, sleeping on friends and family's couches.

"It's scandalous... my heart is broken thinking about children with no home for Christmas."

Ms Nevin was also critical of the Housing Assitance Payment scheme, whereby the local authority pays rent for a tenant in a private rental property, and the tenant (who qualifies for housing support) makes a contribution to the local authority towards this. 

"Our current housing policy is not working. Putting people in privately-owned houses and our government paying money directly into landlord's pockets is not solving anything." 

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