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Sinn Féin to urge Housing Minister to initiate Social Housing Review

10 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson West Belfast MLA Fra McCann and Spokesperson on Poverty North Belfast MLA Kathy Stanton will meet Direct Rule Housing Minister David Hanson tomorrow, Thursday 11th May, at 12.15 in Belfast to discus social housing supply, affordability and sustainability.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Fra McCann said:

"Sinn Féin have repeatedly called for a review into social housing supply and the housing allocation points system. These are two pressing issues that must be a dealt with.

"It is clear that there is a serious under provision in the supply of social housing that is getting worse with every year because new build targets are not being met. Unless a new approach is developed the gap between demand and supply will continue to grow.

"There are also very serious long-standing problems with the operation of the housing allocation points system that is leaving many people trapped on the waiting lists who should be a high priority and many people stuck in often unsuitable hostel accommodation.

"The issues of affordability will not be addressed, in my opinion, by a total dependence on co-ownership. We need to also look at the operation of the buy-to-let markets and the activities of property developers and speculative landlords who are manipulating house prices.

"How we build sustainable communities is a far broader issue encompassing not just the housing market but also issues around recreation, community safety, education and economic activity." ENDS

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