Housing Action Campaign launched

Members of the new Derry Housing Action Campaign have vowed to step up their campaign to protect the rights of local people after reforming in the city.

The new campaign - a revival of the work pioneered by the 1968 Derry Housing Action Committee- was formally established by People Before Profit last Thursday in the Playhouse Theatre.

Dozens of people, including many facing housing issues locally, attended the launch and many have pledged to join the campaign.

A number of Derry City & Strabane District Councillors were among those in attendance, while long-standing rights campaigners, Foyle People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann and local man Willie White, were among those who addressed the crowd.

One of the organisers on the new Committee, Justyn McNicholl said: “People were quite invigorated by the campaign and also quite disgusted that things are the way they are, following on from the Housing Executive getting established and taking care of many of these issues all those years ago. But over the past 15 years the Housing Executive has been de-funded and split in two. We want the reestablishment of the Housing Executive and its powers,” he said.

Mr. McNicholl said that the Housing Executive was currently unable to borrow money to build or purchase homes due to legislation which was brought in by the administration at Stormont.

A protest was staged last Tuesday ahead of the launch, and further action is expected in the coming weeks.

The original Derry Housing Action Committee was credited with having been instrumental in leading to the establishment of the Housing Executive.