Housing crisis highlighted at opening of Fórsa conference

view original post

Delegates have gathered in Killarney, Co Kerry, this evening for the opening of the biennial conference of Fórsa, the country’s largest public sector trade union.

Motions about housing have dominated the opening session with delegates being told that the current accommodation crisis is threatening to undermine the Irish economic success story.

Fórsa activist Anne Marie Ryan, from the union’s Westmeath branch, called on delegates to support the union’s engagement with the Government to advocate for a meaningful and workable resolution to the housing crisis.

“We want the union to fight for stricter regulations on landlords, developers and commercial funds to ensure fair and affordable housing options for all workers,” Ms Ryan said.

More than 700 delegates are attending the conference which runs until Friday.

Around 200 motions will be debated on topics including pay, remote working, sick leave, pensions, artificial intelligence and the rise of the far right.

Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan said housing has overtaken inflation and cost-of-living concerns for working people.

“The Irish economic success story is being actively undermined by the ongoing accommodation shortages in all Irish cities, towns and rural areas,” Mr Callinan said.

“A growing number of younger people are locked out of housing and locked out of starting an independent life.”

“Today, employment is plentiful, but housing pressures are prompting a fresh exodus of talent,” he added.