26/11/2012

Durkan Backs NI's National Homelessness Week

SDLP Social Development spokesperson Mark H Durkan has given his backing to the Council for the Homeless NI's National Homelessness Week.

The Foyle MLA was speaking in advance of events taking place to mark the Week, including a sleep-out in Derry on Wednesday, which Mr Durkan will be taking part in.

He said: "Over 10,600 people are registered as homeless in Northern Ireland – over 1200 of them in Derry.

"This is a grotesque scar on our society and is most keenly felt at this time of year, with the homeless looking down the barrel of uncertainty and loneliness this Christmas.

"It is a problem which must be urgently addressed with a vigorous, pro-active housing programme which addresses need first and foremost. The stagnant and unhelpful approach of Minister McCausland is doing nothing to alleviate the hurt and distress of those who have suffered most under his current housing policy.

"It is yet another lamentable symptom of the crushing welfare reforms which the Minister is slavishly importing from the Tory-led Westminster government without any real effort being made to address, in real terms, the circumstances of Northern Ireland – cuts which the SDLP are fighting every step of the way."

(CD)

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