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Planning policy causing huge problems as lack of social housing a real concern for families

A lack of social housing in south Armagh is causing many families huge problems, according to one local councillor.

Slieve Gullion area Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty, speaking at the Housing Executive presentation of their annual report, said that not enough was being done to address the housing needs of many of those he represented.

“There is a severe lack of affordable social housing,” claimed councillor Hearty.

“The Housing Executive need to strongly encourage more building by Housing Associations in places throughout south Armagh.

“People from areas like Crossmaglen, Culloville and Creggan have actually given up on adding their names to the Housing Executive long list due to their sense of hopelessness.

“This has resulted in many family members having to move out of the town lands and areas where they were born and reared.”

He added: “PPS 21 Planning Policy now means only one house can be built on an active farm every 10 years and building restrictions in an infill site and replacement for old dwellings etc, leave it impossible for rural dwellers to build in the countryside, however, the Housing Executive/Housing Associations could extend on development land within our rural villages to help alleviate the housing stress.

“I share the feeling of many of my constituents that we have been abandoned by the Housing executive over the last number of years.

“I would encourage all constituents that need a house to apply to the Housing Executive for housing and this will leave our argument a lot stronger when we can say that the numbers awaiting housing within our areas are much higher.

“This in turn strengthens our arm to encourage Housing Executive/Housing Associations to build to meet the housing need.”

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