Huge concern at housing allocation differential
Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that the latest figures on housing allocation indicate that Catholics are 'under represented' in the allocation of public housing.
Mr McCann said:
"Recent Housing Executive figures for 2002-03, show that in Belfast the percentage of Catholics on the Housing Executive waiting list for a house was 44%, yet only 28% of those actually allocated a house were Catholic - an 'under-allocation' gap of 16% in relation to allocations.
"While Protestants represented 43% of those on the waiting list, they represented 64% of those actually allocated a house - an 'over-allocation' gap of 21%. These figures point to a very significant 'waiting list' differential that is every bit as unacceptable as the 'unemployment differential'.
"For the same period (2002-2003) across the north as a whole this differential of Catholic under representation in housing allocation is repeated. The percentage of Protestants on the waiting list was 47%, with 54% actually being allocated a house - an over-representation of 7%. For Catholics, the figures were 40% on the waiting list, and 35% actually allocated a house - an under-representation of 5%.
"This demonstrates the existence of a significant 'allocation differential' between the two communities regarding allocation of public sector housing.
"The problems is particularly bad in Belfast with a 16% under-allocation for Catholics, and 20% over-allocation for Protestants. While the NIHE may argue that there are number of reasons for this differential, such as low-turnover of housing in Catholic areas, the end result points to significant and disproportionate housing needs within the Catholic community. The key question therefore is what strategy has the NIHE/DSD in place to redress this differential." ENDS