Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has called for a major social house building drive to both tackle homelessness and act as a jobs-boosting economic stimulis.
She was speaking after meeting senior officials at the Housing Executive and the Department of Communities.
She said: “More than 37,000 households in the north are waiting to be allocated a social house, of which just under 24,000 are registered as in housing stress and almost 12,000 people classed as homeless.
“The growing crisis in housing is underpinned by a shortage of social housing in areas of greatest need. Families are rearing children in overcrowded conditions, temporary accommodation and hostels.
“Many families on low incomes, unable to access affordable social housing, are left with no option but to turn to the private rented sector and the high rents expected by private landlords."
Colr. Duffy said ramping-up social house building was a way of addressing the problem.
“Building more social housing is key to addressing these problems.
“The Housing Executive must step up and address the growing inequalities that exist in housing provision by prioritising the supply of social and affordable housing to meet growing demand.
“A major social house building programme would not only ensure that we help address the issues of homelessness and poverty but also create work for local people and firms which can only be a benefit for all concerned.
“Today we told the Department for Communities and the Housing Executive they clearly need to address these issues, by revising their targets and prioritise an increased supply of social housing in areas of greatest need.”