SDLP Glens Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop has been told by the Minister for Social Development that there are 80 people on the waiting list for social housing in the Cushendall and the surrounding Glens area of which 47 are deemed to be in housing stress.
The breakdown is: 53 in Cushendall, 12 in Waterfoot and 15 in Cushendun
Councillor McKillop said: “I am seriously concerned that we are going back to pre-civil rights days when the lack of public authority housing was the issue which sparked off the protests.
“Regrettably there are only projections and no definite plans to build social homes in the Cushendall and surrounding Glens area and that is one good reason why the alarm bells should be ringing in the Department of Social Development.
“The SDLP is committed to honouring the principles it was founded on and one of these is to ensure that there is no going back to the bad old days of overcrowding, poor housing conditions and the poor service by bad landlords who exploited the housing shortages across the North.
“In the last year only five houses were allocated indicating that the stock of housing likely to become available as relets is hopelessly inadequate.
“The responsibility for new builds has rested with the housing associations for many years and while some have performed well others have failed to identify where housing need exists and where investment needs to be made.
“Cushendall and the surrounding Glens is a glaring example of where housing associations have failed and it is my intention to ensure that the basic right to a house over one’s head is honoured and we don’t go back to the experiences suffered by previous generations where a house was not a right and in many cases a major source of discrimination.”