Social housing ‘crisis’ for 300 Derry children

Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson, Colr. Tony Hassan.
Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson, Colr. Tony Hassan.

There are more than 300 children living in temporary accommodation in Derry, according to Sinn Fein Councillor, Tony Hassan.

Colr. Hassan said the 2,300 local families deemed as homeless or living under housing stress left him under no illusions as to what changes needed to be made to the social housing system in Derry.

“There needs to be a radical re-think by the Department of Social Development (DSD) around forward planning for new social housing to address the situation that we find ourselves in with so many families homeless in this city. The only word I can find to describe the situation is dreadful,” Colr. Hassan told the ‘Journal’.

“I was shocked to learn that more than 300 children are living in temporary accommodation in Derry,” he added.

Colr. Hassan believes the “situation cannot go on” and claims the current housing system is having a detrimental affect on people’s health.

“This crisis means families with children might not see a home of their own for years.

“This is not including families who find their own private accommodation and don’t get the extra 20 points after six months.

“This situation cannot go on much longer as it will have an affect on the health and wellbeing of the families who are in housing stress,” said Colr. Hassan.

“Housing associations are doing the best they can with several hundred of new homes planned this year but the new DSD Minister must act and bring money to the table to allow these families to live with dignity as it is their human right to do so,” he added.