Minister needs to supply social housing
Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann has called on the Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland to focus on the needs of those within the social housing sector.
Addressing the failure of the DSD Minister the Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson, said for too long the Minister has been preoccupied with co-ownership at the expense of addressing the pressing needs of those within the social housing sector.
Fra McCann said:
“It is now time for the minister to focus his energies and the Department's resources on the real issues facing people within our communities.
“While there are people would like to own their own homes I do not believe that there should be such an emphasis in terms of departmental funding at a time when there are so many families in housing stress.
“The more money the minister pours into co-ownership the more he is in danger of adding to a future housing bubble. His approach is increasing the demand for the limited housing available rather than addressing supply. Consequently we will again see house prices rise to an unsustainable level and when the bubble bursts many people will be left in negative equity.
“The more houses the minister takes out of circulation the greater the pressure on those who are dependent on the private rented sector. Forcing people into paying higher rents will push more and more people into poverty or even homelessness.
“The Minister should be focused on addressing the insufficient supply of social housing. The Minister has not only used co-ownership as part of meeting the target set by the Programme for Government for social and affordable housing but has also bought off-the-shelf housing.
“None of this has added any additional housing. The minister along with the housing associations should be planning a major build programme, which will not only help support those in housing stress but also give a boost to our construction industry.” CRÍOCH/END