Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Mortgage repossession highlight failure to address deep rooted housing problems

29 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that the latest figures for mortgage repossession showing yet another increase in the number repossessions - up 32% on the same quarter last year indicate that the underlying problems with the housing market are not being addressed.

Mr McCann said:

"The increase in the number of mortgage repossession, up 32%, should send out a warning signal that there are still very serious problems with the housing market. In the last quarter there were 597 writs and originating summonses relating to mortgages issued. This is more than in any other quarter since 1999.

"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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