Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Housing stress hiding the reality of being Homeless

26 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has welcomed the publication of the Housing Executives annual report but said she is disappointed that the need for provision of new social housing in Derry is missing from the report and warned that that using the term 'Housing stress' is hiding the reality of being 'Homeless'.

Ms Anderson said:

"Whilst I welcome the Housing Executive Annual Report I find it very disappointing that there is little or no mention of the need for a building programme for social housing in this city. The housing waiting list is at its highest level in over 30 years and since 2001-2002 the number of applicants in 'housing stress' has increased by almost 60% to 19,703 from 12,449. Over the same period of time the number of those found to be statutorily homeless has increased to 9,744 from 7,374.

"I also believe that the Housing Executive needs to move away from using the term 'Housing stress'. Housing stress is defined when anyone is on the waiting list with more than 30 points but in reality these people are homeless. In Derry we have 2,300 on the waiting list for a new home and 1,100 on that are described as in Housing stress. That's wrong, we can't use flowery language to hide the fact we are in housing crisis.

"There needs to be a proactive plan for the building of hundreds of social and affordable homes in the Derry area for the next five to ten years. Building five, ten, twenty houses in small patches across the city has had little or no impact in reducing neither the massive waiting lists nor the homeless problems affecting thousands of people in Derry." ENDS

Note to editors

Key statistics throughout the year include;

  • 36,182 housing applicants were on the waiting list
  • 19,703 applicants were found to be in housing stress
  • 9,744 applicants were found to be homeless after investigation
  • 7,772 allocations for Housing Executive homes were made
  • 2,201 homes were sold to sitting tenants, generating an income of £100.9 million

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