Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Ritchie has money now she must get on with the job of tackling the housing crisis

22 January, 2008

Sinn Fein MLA Fra McCann has given a broad welcome to the latest news that the capital budget for social and affordable housing is to be increased by £205m.

While still falling short of what is required to resolve the serious issue of housing shortage Fra McCann said that it was good news that there would be funding available to build 5,000 new homes over the next 3 years.

Mr McCann said:

'I am now calling on the Minister for Social Development to start the process immediately to have these 5,000 new homes provided and brought into the social housing stock without delay.

"Record numbers of people are waiting to be housed and many of them will be watching to see if the minister delivers on her promise to end the housing nightmare faced by those who are homeless or have been on waiting lists for years.

"It should be remembered that the minister has at her disposal £1.2 billion worth of land which should also still be on the agenda for discussion with the construction industry to barter land for the building of social and affordable housing. Negotiations with developers also need to take place to ensure they are not trying to pre-empt the introduction of Article 40. Margaret Ritchie also needs to move urgently ensure that the unacceptable numbers of vacant properties are brought into play to meet the high levels for housing.

"Margaret Ritchie needs now to show leadership and do the job she has been selected to do, which is to end the housing crisis." ENDS

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