16/05/2024

SDLP Calls On Housing Executive To Stop Selling Off Its Stock

The SDLP has urged the Housing Executive to stop selling off their housing stock.

SDLP Opposition Communities Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan made the call after an Assembly question revealed the Housing Executive had sold off 2,040 homes over the past five years.

Mr McCrossan questioned the continuation of the Right to Buy scheme given the worsening housing crisis.

West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said: "Just this week we have heard multiple media reports about the worsening housing crisis across the North. It's heartbreaking to hear the stories of families who have been forced to live in temporary accommodation or hotels, often with young children and far from their home community, because we simply don't have the properties to house them. Regularly I hear from constituents who have been forced to live with friends or family or in unsuitable conditions because they have no prospect of being allocated a house.
News Image
"With Housing Executive waiting lists at over 46,000 at last count and rents soaring, I cannot understand why we are still selling off our housing stock. Over the past five years we have seen 2,040 homes removed permanently from our social housing stock and while I understand everyone has the right to a home of their own, I have to question the sense in continuing the Right to Buy scheme at a time when we are crying out for the Housing Executive to be allowed to borrow money and embark on an ambitious house building programme.

"Shortly after the return of the Assembly I raised Right to Buy directly with Communities Minister Gordon Lyons and was disappointed that he had no plans to review it. The Housing Executive's Chief Executive has stated clearly that the policy is a problem for them and the previous Communities Minister committed to a consultation which never materialised.

"It will take much more than ending Right to Buy to address our housing issues, but I believe that we need to retain all of our social housing stock as we work to establish a long-term plan that provides everyone in the North with access to a decent standard of housing that meets their needs."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 March 2024
NI Libraries Given £1m To Buy New Books
Funding of £1 million has been announced for libraries across Northern Ireland to buy new books. Welcoming the delivery of new stock at Lisburn City Library, Communities Minister Gordon Lyons, said: "I'm delighted to visit Lisburn City Library to mark World Book Day and to welcome the newly arrived stock of books.
06 August 2015
Crumlin Social Housing Scheme Opened
A new social housing scheme of three and four bedroom houses has been officially opened in Crumlin. The fourteen new homes for families on the social housing waiting list, is owned and managed by Habinteg Housing Association who funded the build, with support from the Department for Social Development.
23 May 2012
Housing Association Asked To Give Public Money Back
A social housing provider has been asked to return £835,000 of public funds after failing to get planning permission on a Co. Down site. Belfast-based Trinity Housing Association bought half an acre of land in Crossgar in 2007, at the height of the property boom.
03 November 2020
Communities Minister Pledges To Revitalise The Housing Executive
NI Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has pledged to revitalise the Housing Executive. In a wide ranging statement to the Assembly she set out her plans to address the significant challenges facing Northern Ireland's housing system. Over the last 18 years successive Executives have invested £2.3billion to build 30,000 new social houses.
12 October 2010
Fundamental Review On Way For NIHE
The NI Social Development Minister, Alex Attwood has announced in the Assembly a fundamental review of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). This is the first review of the NIHE on this scale, in nearly 40 years of existence and he said that the NIHE has made massive improvements to the housing landscape in Northern Ireland.