With thousands of Derry citizens homeless or in some degree of housing stress there have been renewed calls for a united front to address the social housing crisis in the city.
According to the Housing Executive’s (NIHE) own projections Derry and Strabane will require 2,552 new social housing units by 2022, with 1,161 programmed to come on line between now and 2020.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan believes local housing associations can play a central role in addressing the housing shortage in the city.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ after the conclusion of a series of meetings with housing providers and housing associations she said housing must be a priority issue for all elected representatives.
“Housing is a massive issue in this city so I felt it was very important that this series of meetings took place,” said Mrs. Mullan.
“There is a housing crisis in the north with over 20,000 households in housing stress and stark inequalities in the waiting list for social housing.
“We received updates on new housing and development plans for across the city, alongside discussing the current housing stress affecting hundreds of people in Derry,” she added.
The Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle said she the NIHE-administered Supporting People Programme, which funds a range of housing related support services for vulnerable people to improve their quality of life and attain independence, was also discussed during the meetings.
All of these services can be provided to qualifying citizens in their own homes or in hostels, sheltered housing or other specialised supported housing.