Number of social houses planned for Waterside hinterland lags need

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Seventy-three social housing units are needed in the Waterside’s rural hinterland over the next four years with the vast majority of these scheduled for the semi-industrial Strathfoyle and Eglinton areas but only 24 have been programmed between now and 2020, Housing Executive boss Clark Bailie has confirmed.

The Housing Executive projects that thirty social houses will be needed in Eglinton by 2021, with a further 20 required in Strathfoyle, 10 in Claudy, six in Newbuildings, four in Magheramason and three in Lettershandoney.

But in a letter to Derry City and Strabane District Council, Mr. Bailie, has now confirmed that only 19 have been programmed for Eglinton, two for Strathfoyle, and three for Claudy between now and 2020.

Three units were completed in Eglinton last year.

A further seven were on site across Eglinton, Strathfoyle and Claudy as of March 31, 2017.

And a further 14 in Eglinton have been planning approved and are programmed for completion over the next three years.

The local housing authority does not believe any new social housing units are needed in Ardmore or Maydown at the moment.

Mr. Bailie wrote to the local authority after personally outlining the agency’s plans to increase the level of social housing stock in the city at a meeting of its Governance and Strategic Planning Committee last month.

In September Mr. Bailie explained that the Housing Executive projected 2,552 new social housing units would be needed in Derry and Strabane over the next five years but that only 1,161 were planned between now and 2020.

At last month’s meeting Mr. Bailie was asked to provide a breakdown of the number of social units planned in Derry’s rural hinterland.

Mr. Bailie promised the committee that while he didn’t have those details to hand he would write to the council and provide full details of rural housing need, new build completions, on-site and programmed schemes.

Fulfilling this promise the Housing Executive boss has confirmed 111 social housing units are needed across the Derg, Sperrin and aforementioned Faughan District Electoral Areas.

Within the Sperrin DEA 15 houses will be needed in Ballymagorry and four in Douglas Bridge but none in Artigarvan, Donemana, Park or in Plumbridge.

In the Derg DEA 16 houses are required in Sion Mills and three in Clady but none elsewhere, according to Mr. Bailie, in his letter, which was presented to the committee on Tuesday.