John Mark McCafferty,
A message from our Chair & CEO
Little did we know back in 1978, what a crucial role Threshold would play over the next four decades. Threshold owes its origins to the development of the Flat Dwellers’ Chaplaincy established in 1974 by Fr. Donal O’Mahony in response to the scale and diversity of housing problems at that time. Discrimination in terms of access to rented accommodation, illegal evictions and poor living conditions were widespread.
Fuelled with a belief that ‘home’ is central to human dignity, wherever and whatever that home may be, it is a foundation for a person’s sense of being and sense of place. To be without home is to be displaced from society – alone, voiceless and marginalised.
“A home is more than having a roof over your head. A person may have an address and a door key, but if they are living in overcrowded conditions, without basic facilities in unsanitary conditions; if they are cold because they cannot heat themselves; if they face eviction; if they are poor and can’t reasonably afford rent - then it is only right to call that person homeless.”
There is no one solution to the housing and homeless crisis. We live in a complex, changing and uncertain world where the balance of housing supply and demand is distorted by many factors.
Since our inception, our vision has always been of an Ireland where everyone has access to affordable, secure, suitable and good quality housing. Our work over the last 40years is proof positive that change for the better is possible. We have secured many landmark victories spanning the last four decades. Our campaign for security of tenure led to the introduction of a guaranteed 4 year tenancy under the 2004 Residential Tenancies Act.
This measure represented a significant milestone for tenants who previously could be evicted for no cause with a 28 days notice period. Our campaign to regulate rents which led first to the rent freeze and then to the rent pressure zone legislation although far from perfect in its execution has benefited many tenants. We acknowledge some battles have yet to be fully won.
Today, we continue our campaign for a fair, sustainable rental market with a clear emphasis on supporting, informing and advocating for vulnerable tenants. As we look back on what has been achieved we must also look ahead. Threshold will continue to advocate for a rights based approach to housing and regards adequate housing as a human right today, tomorrow and for future generations to come.