Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Social Housing plans for South Down ‘totally inadequate’

17 December, 2007

Sinn Féin South Down MLA Willie Clarke has said that the 5 year Social Housing Development Programme for South Down is totally inadequate. Mr Clarke questioned Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie over social housing in Warrenpoint, Rostrevor, Kilkeel, Rathfriland, Mayobridge, Hilltown, and Annaclone.

The Department of Social Development revealed that only 30 social housing units were built in the three years to 2006/07 and that only a further 45 are planned for 2007/08 and 2008/09.

There were 513 people on the housing waiting list as of 30th September 2007.

Mr Clarke said:

"There is something seriously wrong with the Social Housing Development Programme when the department is only planning to build 45 new units of social housing over the next two years while there are over 500 people on the housing waiting list.

"The Social Housing plans for South Down are totally inadequate. The planned provision meets less than 10% of need.

"The Housing Minister Margaret Ritchie needs to begin to show some leadership and initiative in tackling the housing crisis. The time for excuses is over. It is time for action." ENDS

Note to Editors

AQW 2079/08 30 units of social housing were built in the last three years (all in 2006/07)

AQW 2078/08 45 units of social housing planned for 2007/08 and 2008/09 (incl 31 in Warrenpoint)

AQW 2080/08 The total number of people on the waiting list at 30th September 2007 for each of these areas was as follows:

Warrenpoint - 220
Rostrevor - 83
Kilkeel - 106
Rathfriland - 51
Mayobridge - 18
Hilltown - 28
Annaclone - 7

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