In June 2021 Mary received almost unanimous support in Seanad Eireann for her proposing a constitutional referendum on the right to housing. Following on from the debate Government established a Commission on Housing tasked with examining the issue.
The Referendum Subcommittee has been tasked with examining the complex constitutional issues around housing rights and to propose appropriate wording to Government for a referendum on this issue.
The subcommittee is being chaired by Ailbhe O’Neill, a barrister with extensive practical experience in Constitutional Law and a former advisor to two Referendum Commissions. On the subcommittee is Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General of Housing Europe; Pat Doyle, CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust; and Patricia King, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).
The Housing Commission will be seeking to build consensus on issues of importance to stakeholders. It is envisaged that the Commission will carry out structured engagement, including, harnessing external expertise and inviting submissions etc where appropriate.
The Commission aims to submit its proposal to Government by the end of the year.