Housing crisis getting worse despite drop in homelessness figures
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that the housing crisis is getting worse despite a welcome drop in the number of people presenting as homeless. There are now over 21,000 people on the waiting list for social housing classified as in 'housing stress'.
Mr McCann said:
"The crisis in housing, especially in the lack of social housing is getting worse with every passing day.
"Despite the welcome drop (of 2,000 in the 12 months to March) in the numbers of people presenting as homeless the fact is that in the past 12 months to March 2008 the number of people waiting for social housing has increased by over 3,500.
"At the same time people living in housing stress has increased by 1,661 to it highest ever level. There are now 21,364 people on the waiting list for social housing classified as in 'housing stress'.
"Sinn Féin share the concerns of housing organisations such as Shelter that the response of the Housing Minister, Margaret Ritchie has fallen way short of what is required.
"The Housing Minister claims that she has set out a vision to tackle the housing crisis yet we are still waiting on the detail of what she will do. We need to see how these words will be translated into action and we need a proper and full response from the Department of Social Development to the recommendations in the Semple report." ENDS