Reid calls for action on MEA ‘housing crisis’
SDLP Ballymena councillor Eugene Reid has called for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to take action to address ‘the housing crisis in Mid and East Antrim’.
Cr Reid was speaking after a recent Housing Executive report estimated 1,065 new social housing properties will be needed in the next five years, with just 449 planned by 2024. While the Housing Executive has committed nearly £20m to spend on homes in the area in the current financial year, none of this funding is for building new homes, the SDLP representative pointed out.
Cr Reid said he is now seeking a meeting with Housing Executive Chief Executive Grainia Long to discuss the issues around housing in the area. He said: “We are already in the midst of a desperate housing crisis across the North and it comes as no surprise that over a thousand new homes will be needed in this area in the coming years, with less than half of what’s required planned. Our waiting lists for housing are already huge and a failure to adequately increase provision is only going to make things worse. Last year 1,298 households in this council area were classified as homeless and there were 629 placements in temporary accommodation, the situation is already at breaking point and we need action now. I am calling on Sinn Féin Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to work with the Housing Executive to tackle these issues. I will be seeking a meeting with Housing Executive Chief Executive Grainia Long to make clear to her the dire housing situation we face in this area. Everyone in Mid and East Antrim and across the North has the right to a home where they can feel safe and secure. We need to completely overhaul this broken housing system that has failed and continues to fail so many of our people.”