With 829 people waiting on social housing in Mid Ulster, almost half of whom are in ‘housing stress’, MP Francie Molloy has said the “major housing crisis needs to be tackled”.
Laying the problem at the feet of the Department of Social Development he has hit out at a lack of funding which he said led to less new builds and longer waiting lists, on which single people simply have no hope of securing a home.
Speaking to the Mail about the problem, he said: “The new build of social housing for the last number of years has never met the needs in the area... and the various different bodies that actually do it have never met their targets.”
When asked how this situation came about, he added: “Whenever they took the new build out of the Housing Executive and left it to these housing associations and various bodies like that - they were depending on private finances to match the funding and grants they get from the government and that has never matched up.
“There was this whole idea that they could draw in an awful lot of new money,” he said, “that never happened.
“The number of new houses being built has just continued to drop and what we are now faced with is a major housing crisis.
The number of new houses being built has just continued to drop and what we are now faced with is a major housing crisis - MP Francie Molloy
“This area is bad and it’s not coming anywhere close to meeting the needs [but] the Housing Executive are saying we have enough.”
“A single male young fella has no chance of getting a house, that means then that they’re forced into renting in the private sector, paying higher rents and the houses are being paid for with housing benefits.”
DSD have said they will build more single person dwellings moving forward.