Disgust as new social housing site vandalised

Social housing construction site on Northland Road, Derry. DER3116GS074
Social housing construction site on Northland Road, Derry. DER3116GS074

Vandals have targeted a new social housing development in Derry.

Clanmil Housing, who are building the 76 homes, have warned that such incidents can lead to delays in the allocation of badly needed social housing in Derry.

It is understood the site at Northland Road was broken into and damage caused to equipment and materials some time on Wednesday evening/ Thursday morning.

There are currently over 2,000 families and single people assessed as homeless or living in housing stress in Derry, with hundreds more also on the social housing waiting list.

A spokesperson for Clanmil Housing told the Journal: “We are aware of vandalism at our site at Northland Road as a result of anti-social behaviour, and very much regret the damage caused.

“It is disappointing that this type of behaviour can lead to delays in finishing these much needed homes.

“We would urge the local community to report and concerns they may have to us directly or the local PSNI.

“Our contractor on site will continue to liaise with local PSNI to seek a means of resolving this issue.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Cooper described the actions of vandals as “senseless” and “anti-community”.

Colr. Cooper said: “The vandalism of these houses is a perfect example of how some people living in our community just don’t care about anyone else but themselves.

“We have spoken in the past about Derry’s homeless situation and the number of people waiting on a house is very high so the last thing we need is people wrecking houses earmarked for families.”

Construction work begun on the 76 new social homes, situated on a prime spot along one of the main routes through Derry, at the start of the year.

The development is due to be completed in the Spring of 2017 and comprises of 15 one-bed apartments; 37 two-bed apartments; 10 three-bed houses and 4 two-bed houses, along with 10 two-bed apartments for active elderly people.

A spokesperson from the Housing Executive told the Journal earlier this year that the project was part of “a robust development programme planned” for the area serviced by its Collon Terrace office, including the housing projects currently under way at Skeoge.

“This includes,” she said at the time, “360 homes currently on-site and a further 24 programmed to start in 2015/16 (this includes 16 for supported housing). “In 2016/17 there are 346 homes programmed to start and in the following year (2017/18) 294 are programmed to start.”