SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan.
SDLP Social Justice spokesperson, Mark H Durkan MLA has expressed concern that Foyle constituency has the highest number of homeless people in the North. Mr Durkan was speaking after he received a response detailing the figures from Communities Minister Hargey.
The Foyle MLA said: “The Communities Minister confirmed in response to my question that 2526 people are on the waiting list and deemed homeless, across the Foyle constituency. The Minister also confirmed that across the Derry and Strabane Council area, 1,252 homes were empty and not in use.”
“These figures are startling and behind the statistics are individuals, families and many children waiting in anguish. This is yet another example of the deprivation people in Derry have had to ensure and it is about time we got our fair share and a properly balanced regional economy. The time for robust and honest conversations about tackling housing shortages has long past.”
“Urgent action must be taken before more and more individuals end up on the streets; that is why the SDLP has consistently called for the creation of a comprehensive 20-year Housing Strategy to address issues including supply, affordability, regulation of the Private Rented Sector and homelessness.”
He added: “I will be engaging with the Communities Minister and pressing for urgent action at the earliest convenience.”
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