Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson in Derry, Councillor Colly Kelly, has told the ‘Journal’ that his party is to carry out a major housing survey across the city and district over the coming weeks.
Local people will be asked to give their views on the personal issues they have experienced,and the information collated on issues such as dampness, overcrowing and maintenance will be presented to housing bodies.
People living in various estates in the city have previously expressed concern and anger over damp and mould in their homes, while thousands of local families and single applicants are on the social housing waiting list in the city.
Councillor Kelly said: “It’s been quite apparent for some time now the housing situation in our city; over recent years there has been a lot of new build social housing being constructed and that has to be welcomed, but there are many other problems underneath all that.
“We will be carrying out a major survey across the city and district over the coming weeks to find out the extent of other problems such as overcrowding, maintenance, damp and repairs. It will also look at issues such as rehousing, rent arrears and transfers. We will then be collating the findings and bringing the key issues of concerns to the Housing Executive and various housing Associations in Derry, and where possible to the private renting sector.”
Colr. Kelly said it was well documented that the issue of housing, and problems around it, have far reaching consequences for people’s daily lives. “We need to address them as a matter of urgency,” he said. “Issues such damp can have a major impact on a family’s health and wellbeing living in these conditions. Many of the housing issues are cross cutting and inter linked so there is a need to be coming up with workable solutions.”