'Social housing plans must be revised' - Ní Chuilín
Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has said the Department for Communities and the Housing Executive needs to revise its targets and prioritise increasing the supply of social housing in areas of greatest need.
The party’s Housing spokesperson was commenting after a senior Housing Executive official admitted that not enough social homes are being built to meet demand in the north west.
Carál Ní Chuilín said:
“There are currently around 24,000 people on the social housing waiting list either accepted as homeless or living in housing stress across the North.
“The greatest disparity between supply and demand is located in North and West Belfast, Foyle and Newry/Armagh constituencies.
“The decision by an SDLP Minister in 2010 to remove ring-fenced protections for social housing has left the Housing Executive playing catch up to reduce demand. This has undoubtedly failed and the Derry area has felt the full wrath of this decision.
“The growing crisis in housing is underpinned by a shortage of social housing in areas of greatest need. Families are rearing children in overcrowded conditions, temporary accommodation and hostels.
“The failure to build sufficient social housing is undermining the ability of the Housing Executive to fulfil its statutory duty to address homelessness.
“It is resulting in more and more households being forced to rely on the private rented sector, where tenants face higher rents, worse conditions and less security of tenure.
“The Department for Communities and the Housing Executive need to revise its targets and prioritise increasing the supply of social housing in areas of greatest need.”