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Sinn Féin call for review of housing waiting lists

18 November, 2004


Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast representative Cllr Fra McCann MLA has written to the Direct Rule Social Development Minister John Speller demanding an urgent review of the housing selection scheme - more commonly known as the waiting list - saying that the scheme condemns people to years of waiting rather than helping people in housing need.

Cllr McCann said:

"I have been dealing with people who have been condemned to waiting in hostel accommodation for up to 4 years. In some cases these are people with serious long-term illness.

"Young people, who have no chance of being awarded enough points under this scheme, have little or no chance of being housed. The number of people trapped in these situations is endless.

"The bottom line is that the system needs fixed and the only way to do this is through a fundamental review of this scheme. Having discussed the situation with many within the Housing Executive and from housing associations there is clearly agreement that something needs to be done urgently.

"I am seeking an urgent meeting with the direct rule minister responsible for housing to press home the need for change, and to explain that there is an opportunity to help those in housing need and living in crisis situations with a short sharp focused review. It is vital that those who work at the coal face of housing issues are listened and that their advice is taken seriously." ENDS

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