98 new social homes in rural Derry falls short of official targets: Delargy

An urgent increase in the construction of social housing in rural areas is needed to reduce growing waiting lists, Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy has said.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:52 pm
Pádraig Delargy

The Foyle MLA also called for a review of planning guidelines informing the construction of homes in rural areas.

“Over the last year, 98 new social houses began construction in rural areas of Derry and Strabane District Council area. This represented only 5% of the social houses built in the city and district and fell well short of the Housing Executives 11% target. In the past the need for social housing in rural areas was often hidden due to communities being more dispersed. However, the low availability of existing social housing stock, a low turnover of existing homes and a lack of new, affordable homes has clearly exposed the issue,” he said.

He said proposed reforms to allow the Housing Executive borrow from the market to build new social houses will help ameliorate the problem.

“It will also be helped further if the council supports Sinn Féin’s call for our Local Development Plan to require all new private housing developments to include at least 20% of social and affordable homes.”