Hundreds on social housing list

Hundreds on social housing list

12 February 2020

OVER 1,000 people across South Down are on the waiting list for social housing, it has emerged.

The staggering statistic was confirmed last week to Colin McGrath MLA by the Department for Communities.

Confirmation of the huge number of people on the waiting list came ahead of a meeting Mr McGrath held with Clanmil Housing Association to discuss a range of housing issues across the constituency.

The Assemblyman met with the housing group’s development officer, Hannah Kenny, with issues relating to social and affordable housing topping the agenda.

Mr McGrath said the sad reality is that we Northern Ireland is currently in the grip of a housing crisis.

He continued: “In South Down alone, there are now 1,002 applicants currently on a waiting list and homeless.  Across the North, there over 20,000 people deemed to be homeless which should give each of us cause for concern.

“It is imperative that we work collaboratively to meet the demand for housing. Clanmil has a number of developments underway that seek to tackle this crisis and I absolutely commend them for that.”

Mr McGrath said he was also pleased to hear about Clanmill’s future plans for Newcastle and Downpatrick and the potential that exists within other areas of South Down for new social housing.

“Ultimately, if we want to develop the North and build a vibrant and thriving economy then it is essential that we have sustainable housing,” he continued.

“Everyone needs a home to call their own. Everyone needs a home to take pride in. Everyone needs a place in which to put down their own roots and find a place of belonging.”

Mr McGrath added: “If we have the will to properly address the housing crisis then we will see sustainable jobs created for skilled labourers, courses developed to impart those skills upon those who want to take up a trade and an end to the current brain drain here.  

“More than that though, we will build up new and reconciled communities where everyone can contribute to and call their own.”