‘Giving Housing Executive power to build a key part of strategy’

Derry MLA Ciara Ferguson says giving the Housing Executive the power to build homes again is central to efforts to transform housing across Ireland.

By Kevin Mullan
Friday, 22nd October 2021, 10:05 am
Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson with  the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey
Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson with the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey

The Sinn Féin representative said: “Delivering more social and affordable homes is a priority for Sinn Féin in Foyle and across the island of Ireland.

“We need to fix a broken housing system and bring about change that makes a real difference in people’s lives. That means not only building even more homes, but also improving existing homes.

“Housing is a human right — everyone should be able to feel safe in the knowledge that they have a secure and stable home.”

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Fifty years after the Housing Executive Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 removed control of housing from local authorities which had been accused of using it as a discriminatory tool, Ms. Ferguson said the public housing body would be key in addressing urgent housing need today.

“That’s why Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is delivering the biggest shake up in public housing for over 40 years by giving the Housing Executive the power to begin building homes again.

“It’s about having a housing policy which sees public housing going to those who need it most.

“In recent weeks, Minister Hargey has invested an extra £15 million to help with the building of homes and tackling rising costs of building supplies.

“Over the course of the last 18 months, Sinn Féin Ministers have stepped up to protect renters by delivering legislation to protect people from eviction until May 2022.

“More housing in rural areas is a major issue, that’s why we have called for new planning rules introduced by the Infrastructure Minister which makes it harder to build homes in rural areas to be scrapped.

“Sinn Féin in government are working to transform housing in the North and across the island by creating a level playing field so that workers and families can get a break,” she said.