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McCausland Minister For Evictions says McCann

21 October, 2011 - by Fra McCann

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing, Fra McCann stated that Nelson McCausland, as Minister for Social Development, must make a clear statement to the Assembly on how he intends to manage the current housing crisis, when the welfare reforms he is implementing will only add to the housing waiting list, as people are made homeless and vulnerable tenants lose housing benefits.

Speaking after this weeks Social Development Committee Sinn Fein’s Fra McCann said:

"Senior officials from the Housing Executive. this week spelt out to the DSD Committee that the Social Development Minister is steering his department towards a total crisis in local housing.

“Minister McCausland is in danger of becoming the minister for evictions if he continues to forge ahead with Tory welfare cuts.

“On the one hand, under the Thatcherite welfare reform bill, the proposed changes to Housing Benefits for single people under age 35 will make over 6,000 people homeless while the further cuts to peoples housing benefit of 13% for properties where it is deemed there is one extra room and cut by 25% if there are two rooms will place ever greater hardship upon people struggling to pay rents.

“This, on the other hand, stands in stark contrast to the current housing crisis where there is simply not enough housing stock in the Social Housing sector to meet even the current levels of demand.

“Nelson McCausland, as the minister with responsibility in both these sectors must tell the Assembly how he intends to square this circle.

““The system is creaking at the seams and in areas of Derry and North and West Belfast social housing is already at crisis levels. If he persists in his path of implementing the Tory welfare reforms this crisis is set to deepen significantly.”

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