SDLP Housing Spokesperson Mark H Durkan said a significant rise in the number of people in emergency Housing Executive accommodation is cause for concern.
Figures obtained from the Communities Minister Deidre Hargey highlight that emergency accommodation numbers have almost tripled right across the North since 2018/2019.
And Derry has the second highest after Belfast, with 1,250 households currently availing of emergency accommodation.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Increased demand for emergency housing was an expectation given the impact of the pandemic on an already struggling housing sector.
“However, these figures are stark nonetheless and are testament to the acute and growing housing need.
“We must bear in mind that these numbers are not truly reflective of just how many individuals and families are in need of emergency accommodation. Those figures are likely to be much, much higher.
“Nor does it highlight the dearth of suitable housing stock and impact this has on people in housing crisis.
“Unsurprisingly, my own constituency of Foyle ranks among the highest after Belfast, with 1,250 households currently availing of emergency accommodation.
“In most circumstances the types of accommodation on offer tend to be hostels and B&Bs; grossly unsuitable for many young families although I appreciate the Housing Executive are extremely limited in what they can provide.
“My office is contacted on a daily basis by people desperate for the fundamental right of a roof over their head.
“That social housing applicants should be vying for emergency provisions is a massive failure of governance.
“I appreciate that temporary accommodation has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons and I will continue to work on that.
“However, the vast majority of people in this type of housing are from Derry and are in dire need.
“Yet there is more to tackling homelessness than putting people in unsuitable temporary or emergency accommodation, we need to tackle the root causes and ensure people are given adequate support.
“These figures further underscores the need for an updated and improved Homelessness Strategy for the North of Ireland.”Tags: