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Sinn Féin criticise failure to meet rural homes target

18 January, 2018 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

The failure of the Housing Executive to meet even a modest rural homes target shows the need for an immediate programme of new-builds, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Carál Ní Chuilín has said.

The North Belfast MLA was commenting on the Housing Executive’s first annual Sustainable Rural Communities report which she described as “extremely disappointing”.

Carál Ní Chuilín added: "The report conceded that even the very modest target relating to unmet need for social housing in rural areas has not been met.

“The Housing Executive had set a target of 166 new build social housing units for the year 2016/17 but only actually began construction work on 84, almost half of which were ‘off the shelf’ purchases so not technically new-builds.

“The need for additional social housing in rural areas has been clearly demonstrated and needs urgent action, including an immediate and ambitions new-build programme.

“Instead the Executive has set a new target of 193 units for next year which is described as a ‘considerable uplift’. However, this ignores the backlog of 82 units which were not delivered as planned last year and there will be a great deal of scepticism regarding this new target unless the Housing Executive can demonstrate they are prepared to take definitive action.”

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