A welfare rights worker from Derry has said she is “gobsmacked” to learn that there will be no single bedroom accommodation available in a major new social housing development in Creggan.
Kathleen Bradley from Dove House has said there is a growing need for one bedroom accommodation in the city and she predicted that the demand will grow as a result of changes to housing benefit which are due to come into effect next year.
Ms Bradley described the lack of accommodation for single people as “madness” and called and housing associations and developers to include one bedroom accommodation in all new developments.
“It is madness to think that in 2012 we are not providing a range of types of accommodation to suit the housing demand,” she said.
Ms Bradley said the needs of a growing section of the population is being ignored. “What about single people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. They will not be able to get one bedroom accommodation in Creggan.
“It is not just younger people who will be impacted by this. There are many older people out there who are also on waiting lists looking for this type of accommodation. Older couples do not need a three or four bedroom house and are looking for one bedroom accommodation, particularly ground floor accommodation, but they cannot get it because it is not being built,” she explained.
The Dove House worker also said proposed changes to the housing benefit system will make the situation worse.