Catastrophic shortages driving rental poverty’ -Jackson

The failure of the Department of Communities and the Housing Executive to address a catastrophic shortage of social housing which is fuelling the rising cost of renting a home here, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Christopher Jackson has said.

The Waterside councillor was commenting in the latest Homelet rental index which showed that rents have increased here by 4.5% within a year.

He  said: “According to the latest survey, rents have risen here at a rate higher than anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales and I am in no doubt that this rise is being driven by landlords in the private rented sector.

“Within 14 years the private rented sector has quadrupled here while at the same time tens of thousands of people in desperate need of social housing are stuck on a waiting list that the Housing Executive and the Department for Communities are unwilling to tackle and reduce.

“Higher rents in the private sector have already been shown to be driving poverty within low income households and any increase in those rents are bound to make it even more difficult for struggling families to make ends meet.

“The Housing Executive and the Department must take action to redress this by urgently a prioritising a major build programme of social homes.”