THE SDLP’s Mark Durkan has expressed concern at the low numbers of new social homes built over the last five-year period, despite the ever-growing waiting lists in the North of Ireland.
The Foyle MLA added that the current stock needed to increase by around 30% in order to house all applicants on the waiting list.
Said the SDLP’s Housing spokesperson: “Figures I have received from the Department show that in the last five-year period a paltry 5,270 new social homes were built.
“In isolation that figure may sound reasonable, however, when compared to the almost 40,000 households on the waiting list, it is obvious how deeply inadequate it is.
“If the Department continues to build at this pace, it will be decades before the stock exists to house those in need.
“No-one is expecting miracles.
“We know that we must look to alternatives in dealing with our colossal waiting lists, whether that be looking to a reformed private rented sector or the repurposing of existing stock, but no elected representative can sincerely be satisfied by the current rate at which we are building much needed social homes.
“I will be writing to the Minister for Communities to ask her to detail her plans around the construction of new social homes in the North of Ireland going forward.
“It is incumbent upon Minister Ní Chuilín that her fierce advocacy for new social homes is matched by her actions as the current Minister in charge of our social housing.”