28 May 2022

Rural families struggling to get on the property ladder

A local MLA says a lack of social housing in rural areas is causing problems.

Rural families struggling to get on the property ladder

Young families and couples in County Derry are still struggling to get on the property ladder, says Sinn Fein.

A number of local councillors have been liaising with the Housing Executive and in recent years have helped carry out latent demand testing in Lavey, Desertmartin and Swatragh.

Sinn Fein Mid Ulster MLA Emma Sheerin has said there are a lack of options in the county's rural towns.

“We are constantly contacted by constituents who find themselves struggling to find suitable housing,” she said.

“That can be because of a shortage of housing executive properties, or a lack of affordable private options.

‘Young families and couples often find themselves struggling to get on the property ladder because the requirement of deposits make buying a home unattainable.

“Therefore they become trapped on a hamster wheel of paying high rents in private properties.

‘We see a lack of suitable options in our local small towns, and no real opportunity for development, something that must be addressed.”

Moyola Sinn Fein councillor Catherine Elattar, who sits on the housing council board, said a recent increase in the money set aside for social housing was to be welcomed.”

“It’s imperative that we have a mix of housing types to cater for all local residents and ensure that the needs of all citizens are met,” she said.

‘The allocation of £162m for new social housing across the north in 2021/22, an increase of £26m from 20/21, is to be welcomed.

“It will mean that we are going to begin to see net gains in housing as opposed to a gradual decline in stock, as seen over recent decades,” added the local councillor.

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