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Action call over Derry homeless

By Brendan McDaid

Published 29/11/2012

Homeless people from east Londonderry are being forced into emergency accommodation as far away as Belfast, it has been claimed.

One local MLA has now called on Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland to intervene directly on the “ridiculous” situation.

The most recent figures from the Housing Executive show there are 1,446 people waiting to be housed in the Coleraine and Limavady areas alone.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Cathal Ó hOisín said he is hopeful that the provision of emergency housing within the east Londonderry region will be addressed as a matter of urgency.

His comments come after a recent meeting with Mr McCausland.

The MLA said: “I expect the minister to impress upon the Housing Executive, housing associations and those from the voluntary sector the need to address emergency housing in east Derry.

“In recent years we have had the ridiculous situation where people in need of emergency housing have been relocated from Coleraine and Limavady to accommodation in Belfast, Derry and Ballymena.

Mr Ó hOisín said he had received assurances from Mr McCausland about the issue: “The minister has promised to tackle this at the earliest opportunity and that is to be welcomed.”

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