Real housing crisis affecting 6,000 people

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan.
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan.

Upwards of 6,000 adults and children in Derry could be homeless or in desperate need of new accommodation, Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan has warned.

Colr. Hassan- who is also Sinn Féin’s Housing spokesperson- said that the statement from the Minister for Social Development Mervyn Storey last week that there are over 2,400 families homeless or in housing stress could be just be the tip of the iceberg and in the real terms the number of people affected by the problem could be three times that.

Councillor Hassan said: “The situation that we find ourselves in with 2,400 families homeless and in housing stress in reality means that if you take even just two or three members of each family.

“This could mean in real terms that there’s over 6,000 people affected in this city. And these numbers are growing each day.”

Mr Hassan said that while there are planning applications lodged for hundreds of new homes over the next few years in Derry the houses were needed now.

He said: “We can’t wait for years for these homes. We need the builders and diggers on site now.

“I’ve had more people in my constituency office presenting themselves homeless than at any time over the last few years.

“New thinking is needed on how to deliver more social homes.”

He added that locally based Housing Associations are at present patiently waiting for a resolve of the Buncrana Road H2 site, “where hundreds of social homes could be built”.

Mr Hassan said that the sprawling site off the Buncrana Road could be the key to tackling the housing crisis in Derry.

He said that H2 “could be the injection of social homes that we need to get to grips with the housing crisis in the city.”