Housing Executive Waiting Lists

Oral Answers to Questions — Social development – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 8th April 2002.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 3:30 pm, 8th April 2002

4. asked the Minister for Social Development to detail the extent of waiting lists for homes in Lagan Valley by each local Housing Executive area.

(AQO 1075/01)

Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Opposition Whip (Commons)

The information requested by the Member is not compiled according to constituency. However, the Housing Executive’s Antrim Street district in Lisburn corresponds most closely to the Lagan Valley constituency. At 31 December 2001 1,270 applicants were on the district’s waiting list, of whom 610 were categorised as being in housing stress — that is having 30 points or more under the housing selection scheme.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Does the Minister agree that it is shocking that so many people are waiting for public-sector housing in the Lisburn district? Will he agree to investigate the circumstances in which the Housing Executive is reducing the amount of public housing available in some areas? It is selling land, and there is a limited expansion of the housing base in that district.

Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Opposition Whip (Commons)

I do not agree that those figures are particularly shocking, because the current ratio of applicants in housing stress to relets is 1:1·25, which shows that the housing needs of the whole area are largely being met. However, in order to deal with existing and anticipated pressures, housing associations, which provide all-new social housing, have planned a work programme for the next three-year period.

I want to give some details about the Lisburn area. The last phase of 96 new houses in Poleglass and 15 new houses in Lisburn has just been completed. A further nine homes are under construction in Old Warren in Lisburn, and they will be completed in the autumn. In addition, over the next three-year planning cycle, housing associations plan to start building a further 218 new homes. In 2002-03 they plan to start three schemes of 180 new homes. In 2003-04 they plan to start four schemes of 40 new homes. In 2004-05 they plan to start seven schemes of 98 new homes.