Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Housing Bulletin shows rising prices and increases in repossession

5 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that the latest Housing Bulletin showing that increases of between 10% and 12% in the average selling price of new homes and a substantial increase in the number of mortgage repossessions (up 21.8%) indicate that the underlying problems with the housing market are not being addressed.

Mr McCann said:

"While there has been an increase in the number of new homes being built and a slight increase in the numbers of public sector homes being built the fact that in the last quarter that there were only 870 new homes being built outside of the private sector show that the serious lack of public housing is not being addressed.

"The increase in the average selling price of new homes by over 10% taken with the substantial increase in the number of mortgage repossession, up nearly 22%, should send out a warning signal that there are still very serious problems with the housing market.

"There are clearly not enough properties available within the public housing market to meet demand. Housing Executive waiting lists remain stubbornly high. Increasing house prices also put young families in particular at a disadvantage and the increasing numbers of evictions indicate that many people are being forced to take on mortgages that are unsustainable.

"Until we take steps to put in place a housing strategy that meets the need that exists these problems will remain.

"We also need to address the very serious ongoing problem of homelessness - during the period January to March 2004 nearly 5,000 families presented as homeless. There is no capacity within the Housing Executive stock to deal with this or the ongoing demand to tackle the waiting lists that are particularly acute within nationalists areas where even people with priority A1 status are not being housed." ENDS

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