Minister must get to grips with Derry Housing crisis
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has called for more urgent action plans to be developed and implemented in 2008 than there were in 2007 so that the Derry city's housing crisis is properly dealt with.
Mr McCartney said:
"The New Year has come and gone and still 2,300 people in Derry city are on the waiting for social housing including 1,100 people who are homeless, and some who have just spent their second or third Christmas with out a home of there own.
"This situation can not be tolerated any longer and Minister responsible for Housing Margaret Ritchie must now signal that she is ready to get to grips with the housing crisis in Derry. I would urge on the minister to look at the £600 million of assets within the Department of Social Development as well as the £450m in the Housing Executive Budget to see if any of this money can be put into the building of new social housing in the city.
"There are now 36,800 people looking for social housing in the North of Ireland. These people can not be ignored or forgotten and government plans must be put in place to allow an organised development of social housing.
"The department has said that 1050 new social homes are required in the Derry City Council area over the next 5 years yet I believe that the real figure could be a lot higher than this.
"If affordable housing for first time buyers can not be achieve then clearly more people will be opting for social housing which means that the waiting lists will get bigger and bigger and in 5 years time could be twice as long as it is today.
"The minister needs to get to grips with this serious housing crisis that has not been seen here since the late sixties and outline her vision into ending this misery for many families." ENDS