Teachers are calling for a referendum providing for the right to housing, saying the housing crisis is having a detrimental impact on the lives of educators and their students.
The annual conference of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) heard how students are living in overcrowded accommodation, with some even sleeping in hallways.
A motion put forward said teachers, lecturers and students are struggling with escalating housing costs and are, in many cases, effectively locked out of the housing market and denied the right to a decent and affordable home.
Delegate Jim Roche of the Dublin offices branch called on the TUI to be more assertive in demanding the Government to address the crisis.
“It is having a devastating impact on teachers, students, their parents and their children. Housing is a basic human need,” he said.
Congress called on the executive to campaign for the declaration of a housing emergency, a referendum providing for the right to housing, affordable student accommodation and the introduction of rent controls and greater protection for tenants.
The motion was unanimously passed.
Delegates expressed concern about how the housing crisis is driving people out of Ireland.
One Dublin-based teacher said when a colleague was asked what class he was struggling with, he responded: “The landlord classes”.
TUI members are also calling for a major campaign of action on housing including a mass demonstration in May.
A survey by the TUI published ahead of the annual conference revealed that a significant majority of recently qualified second-level teachers do not believe they would get mortgage approval for a home near their school.
Of the teachers appointed after 2011, 73pc said they do not believe it would be possible for them to get mortgage approval for a property near the location where they work.