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Concern of negative assessment of North Belfast Housing Strategy

24 March, 2006

Sinn Féin North Belfast City Councillor, Carál Ní Chuilín has said that the assessment of Housing Executive's seven-year North Belfast Housing Strategy by the St Patrick's and St Joseph's Housing Committee raises very serious concerns, particularly as it appears that the housing crisis being faced by nationalists has worsened.

Cllr Ní Chuilín said:

"With less than one year remaining for the strategy these figures show that some 78% of people waiting on the North Belfast Housing List are nationalist, compared to 60% when the strategy - projected to cost in excess of £170m - began in 2000.

"The figures have been fluctuating now for a long time between 78-85% and, although the current figures are at the low end of that, this just isn't good enough.

"I am calling on the Department of Social Development to take an immediate and serious look at the situation in North Belfast in relation to social housing figures and, in particular, to address the issue that 78% of people on the waiting list are nationalists."

"DSD, like all public bodies, are governed clear equality guidelines including section 75.

"It would a matter of serious concern if the department and Housing Executive have spent £170m over a 7 year period only for the housing crisis faced by nationalists to be get worse.

"Nationalists on the Housing waiting list in North Belfast are not only waiting for a home but are also waiting for equality." ENDS

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