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Concerns voiced over £9.5 million West Belfast Housing Regeneration Scheme

1 February, 2006

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has said that while any investment within West Belfast is to be welcomed that first time buyers will not be able to afford the new homes and called for greater investment in social housing.

Fra McCann said:

"While any investment within West Belfast is to be welcomed there is a concern that these houses will be out of the reach of first time buyers and that they will be bought up by private landlords and put onto the rental market.

"An opportunity has been lost to have a mixed tenure estate which would also have included social hopusing along with private.

"The greatest need is within the social sector.

"British direct rule ministers are well aware that the statistics point to a severe shortage in social housing. Of all housing built in the north 98.5% is in the private sector. A balance needs to be found.

"Selling land to the highest bidder will guarantee that it goes to the private developer.

"David Hanson has also failed to point out what infrastructure, for example to meet local community health and economic needs, will be put in place to ensure sustainable communities." ENDS

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