Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Shock at attempt to force 71-year-old Newry man into Belfast Housing accommodation

31 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that the revelation that a 71-year-old Newry man, who has lived in public housing all his life, and who now through circumstances finds himself homeless, has been told by the Housing Executive that he may have to go to Belfast for accommodation is shocking.

Mr Brady said:

"This man suffers from severe illnesses and is in need of sustained support. He is currently in residential care in Kilkeel but only will be kept there until mid august. After that he is homeless and now faces the daunting prospect of being housed in sheltered accommodation in Belfast.

"He has always lived in public housing but now the system has abandoned him.

"This case highlights the severe lack of specialist accommodation for those from our community with specific health problems. This applies in particular to the older members of our communities. There seems to be little care about the quality of life or even the dignity of those affected, when these decisions are made."

"Across the Newry and Armagh area there are over twelve hundred people homeless (Newry 807/Armagh 400). In Newry there are over 1700 on the waiting list alone.

"This situation cannot go on with more and more people becoming homeless on a daily basis.

"Everyone working with homeless people from across the range of housing organisations and those trying to tackle homelessness feel a deep frustration at the lack of social housing and sheltered accommodation in the area." ENDS

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