THE Housing Executive is to invest £3.43 million in the Magherafelt district this year, the local Council was told.
Members heard that the current economic circumstances presented “unprecedented challenges” with reduced overall investment in housing, lack of capital receipts from house and land sales and increasing number of people applying for social housing and Housing Benefit.
West Area Manager Sean Mackie said the housing waiting list for the district has decreased slightly, from 255 applicants in housing stress in December 2010 to 238 in April 2012.
“Single person households continue to dominate the waiting list, accounting for 43 per cent of all applicants in housing stress,” he said.
During the past year the Executive had allocated 87 homes to waiting list applicants compared to 92 allocations in the 12 months to December 2010.
“In the past year work started on 18 new units at Craigmore Road, Maghera and McGurks Villas, Gulladuff,” he continued. “Contruction work is ongoing at 30 new units at Aughrim Road, Magherafelt. Twelve general needs units and 15 supported housing units are programmed to commence in 2012/13”.
Mr Mackie revealed that the number of homeless people decreased from 121 in 2010/2011 to 82 in 2011/2012.
“The Housing Executive will continue to work hard to provide services to support those faced with homelessness in the District. The Homelessness Strategy 2012-2017 will aim to eliminate long-term homelessness and rough sleeping across Northern Ireland by 2020,” he went on.
He pointed out that they were investing £900,000 on helping the most vulnerable people in Magherafelt to continue to live independently.
“Despite pressures on our funding the Housing Executive will continue to provide its day-to-day maintenance service,” he added.
“Housing Executive tenants in Magherafelt will see this service protected in line with their conditions of tenancy. This year’s work programme, already being implemented, also includes new kitchens for 51 homes at Glenone Villas/Hunters Park; external maintenance for 214 homes in the district; two heating installation schemes in 73 homes and cavity wall insulation in 29 homes at King William III.”