Housing protest to take place in Cork city tomorrow

Housing protest to take place in Cork city tomorrow
A housing and homeless protest will take place in Cork city tomorrow. Picture: David Creedon

A housing protest will take place in Cork city tomorrow (Thursday, December 5).

The march will start at Daunt Square at 12pm. 

The Right2Housing group have organised the protest and there will be a variety of speakers attending.

The aim of the march, according to the organisers, is to protest the "lack of action" by the Government in relation to the housing crisis.

The Right2Housing group said they felt the need to take definitive action on the issue of the housing crisis and homelessness.

Speaking ahead of the protest, community activist Karen Doyle said Right2Housing is made up of local community activists, people experiencing homelessness, volunteers and members of Unite Community.

"[We] have come together to build an inclusive, anti-racist, grassroots campaign with some key demands to see an end to the housing crisis," said Ms Doyle.

"We want to help end the shame, isolation and hopelessness many people face in trying to deal with this crisis. We are fighting for the future of all the children who are suffering as a result of the Government’s failed housing policy."

Housing activist Keely Jones, who is currently homeless, will also speak at the march.

"I’m marching for my children and all the hidden homeless. I’m marching to give us a voice. We refuse to be the hidden homeless any longer.

"We are all one paycheque away from homelessness, it’s time for change. Please come out and support us and let’s show this Government that we won’t be swept under the carpet anymore. Homeless lives matter."

Another speaker, Evie Nevin, is a disability rights activist and she will highlight how the housing crisis affects people with disabilities.

Ms Nevin suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder which affects her mobility and causes dislocations, dizziness and weakness. This means that stairs can be dangerous for her on bad days. Both her children, Alex (10) and Olivia (4) have inherited the condition.

"We have been on the HAP scheme for the last 10 years. In 2017, our consultants wrote to Cork County Council requesting that we be moved into ground floor accommodation. Two and a half years later we are still in the same two-storey house.

"There have been so many falls down the stairs, there are so many nights I have to sleep on the couch when I’m feeling too weak to go up the stairs. The house is also too small to use my wheelchair.

"I absolutely know how privileged I am in comparison to the thousands of people living in emergency accommodation, on the streets and young people with disabilities who are having to go into nursing homes.

"The Government doesn’t build accessible housing for families. Accessible council houses are built with older people in mind and are at max, two-bedroom".

Other speakers include Stephaine Mackey and Connolly Youth Movement, as well as performances by rapper Bubba Shakespear and poetry by Erika Arigbologa.

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