Sinn Féin - On Your Side

No equivocation on the need to challenge property developers

4 April, 2007


Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson has said that there can be no equivocation on the need to challenge property developers and the impact they are having on the housing market.

Mr McCann said:

"The increasing dominance of property speculators and developers and the buy-to-let market is having a devastating impact on the housing market and affordability and the ability of first time buyers to get onto the housing ladder.

"There can be absolutely no equivocation on the need to challenge property developers and the impact they are having on the housing market. I am very very concerned at some of the uncertainty surrounding this issue from the Minister designate.

"The most recent report from the Housing Executive highlight two very serious problems namely the spiralling of homelessness and also the increasing numbers of people on the housing waiting lists who are in 'housing stress'. We have to admit to the seriousness of the problem when nearly 10,000 people here are homeless.

"There are serious problems with the supply of social housing. Twenty years ago the Housing Executive were building 7000 homes a year and the Housing Associations building another 500. That figure today is less than 500 in total. There is an ever growing gap between the provision and the demand for social housing and homelessness this year has risen to unprecedented levels with over 20,000 presenting as homeless. It is a gap that is being filled by profiteers who are claiming millions in housing benefits.

"Sinn Féin believe that we need to see clear commitments on social and affordable housing, including:

  • The elimination of the housing waiting list by launching a major, renewed, investment in a comprehensive social housing programme, resulting in an annual new build of 5,000 units and 70,000 new homes by 2025;
  • Introduce a radical approach to maximise development of social and affordable housing by using: available land banks, starting with former British Army and former RUC and PSNI barracks and brownfield sites in government ownership;
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders on derelict properties vacant for more than 12 months;
  • A legislative requirement that at least 30% of all private development sites are earmarked for social and affordable housing."

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