High need for social housing in Lurgan

Cllr Keith Haughian who is concerned about reports of cat baiting in North Lurgan. INLM2315-404
Cllr Keith Haughian who is concerned about reports of cat baiting in North Lurgan. INLM2315-404

With north Lurgan designated with the ‘highest need’ for social housing, calls have been made for the NI Housing Executive to do more to tackle the issue.

Sinn Fein Cllr Keith Haughian asked NIHE staff at last week’s Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council meeting what they are planning to do to tackle the serious housing need in the area.

“The Housing Executive have acknowledged that North Lurgan is an area of acute need for more social housing,” said Cllr Haughian.

“I have asked them to specifically tell me what land they own in the area and whether they are actively liaising with the Housing Associations to see if agreement can be made which will allow more houses to be built.”

“We have recently had success in ensuring the landowner of Clendinnings lived up to their responsibilities in cleaning the land but I want to see affordable housing being built there.

“Whilst I acknowledge that sometimes this can be difficult it should be much easier to build on land that the Housing Executive already owns.

“They have assured me they will reexamine their stock and come back to me on this”

The NIHE revealed to the Council that the five year assessment for 2016-2021 shows a need for 302 housing units.

And the areas in greatest need is north Lurgan, Armagh City and Banbridge town.

Single, older persons and small family households comprise 81% of the council’s waiting list in housing stress, according to the NIHE report.

“In recent years social housing need in the council area has been delivered by housing associations on NIHE land. Increasingly, areas of housing need are emerging in locations where the Housing Executive does not own land. Where such land is not available, housing associations and developers will engage other sectors to meet housing need.

“This results in housing associations having to acquire sites on the open market which are subject to market price fluctuations,” said the NIHE report.