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Margaret Ritchie must give clear and definitive timescale for social housing delivery in South Down.

8 December, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Willie Clarke has called on the Minister for Social Development, Margaret Ritchie to give a clear and definitive timescale for new build social housing projects in the South Down Area.

Speaking today after Ministerial Question Time Mr Clarke said:

"There are currently high levels of housing stress in areas of South Down including Downpatrick, Newcastle and Castlewellan. The people living in these towns who are seeking accommodation are asking me the question on a daily basis when will the social housing, promised under Margaret Ritchie and DSD be started.

"There is an urgent need to deliver on these housing commitments. While the Minister for Social Development is buying houses this is not meeting the demand that exists in the area. We must see the new build programme beginning in the South Down in order to have any confidence that the needs for homes will be met.

"I have raised this issue in the press and now in the Assembly chamber and still I have received not satisfactory answer. Margaret Ritchie needs to stop talking around the issue and give clear and defined timescale for delivering social housing in South Down. Not only is she failing to deliver on social housing commitments in a number of areas across the North but this has now spread to her own constituency."

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