988 present as homeless after losing private digs

Almost a thousand households in Derry/Strabane presented as homeless due to the loss of private rented accommodation over the past four years, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

The Housing Executive reported receiving 988 homeless presentations between 2017/18 and 2020/21 in Derry/Strabane, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey confirmed in response to an Assembly Question.

Broken down by financial year the local homelessness presentations were as follows: 2017/18 (204); 2018/19 (332); 2019/20 (268); and 2020/21 (184).

Since 2018/19 the Housing Executive has also been providing sub-category breakdowns of the various reasons for losses of private rented accommodation suffered by tenants in the Derry and Strabane city and district.

Deirdre Hargey

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These include affordability, fitness/repairs, landlord disputes, ‘other’ and property sales.

In 2020/21 in Derry/Strabane the breakdown was as follows: affordability (23), fitness/repairs (7), landlord disputes (21), ‘other’ (41) and property sales (92).

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Property sales were the main reason for homeless ness presentations due to the loss of private rented accommodation in each of the past three years in the Derry/Strabane area.

This was reflected generally in the six counties.

Across the north as a whole, 8,717 households in total presented to the Housing Executive as homeless after losing private rental tenancies between 2017/18 and 2020/21.

In 2020/21, 636 of these households said they had lost tenancies due to the sale of the property they were living in previously.

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