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Alex Maskey at launch of Simon Community Document

5 November, 2003

Sinn Féin South Belfast Assembly candidate, former Belfast mayor Alex Maskey speaking as part of a multi-party platform at the launch of the Simon Community document on 'Addressing Homelessness' has said that housing is a basic and inalienable right.

Cllr Maskey said:

"There can be no acceptable level of homelessness. The latest figures tell us that the number of homeless cases here has risen by 16%. It is an indictment on the failure of the homelessness strategy to tackle the problem.

"Since the collapse of the institutions and the re-introduction of direct rule organisations dealing with the issue of homelessness have reported a lack of political will to make progress on this issue. It is vital that we get the institutions back up and running as soon as possible so that we have local ministers making decisions that they are accountable for and so that there is direct access for people affected by homelessness and those working with them.

"Targets to tackle homelessness have not been met. We need improved resources and legislation and more support for the organisations that are working flat out to deal with rising homelessness. His means money for temporary accommodation, transitional housing and hostel accommodation - including hostels for young people with on-site access to specific support services." ENDS

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