NI budget: Warning Social Housing Cuts will Hit the Vulnerable

Proposed cuts to funding social housing in Northern Ireland are likely to hit the most vulnerable with “so many people in crisis”, a housing association has warned.

The Department for Communities faces a 16% cut in day-to-day spending.

This could mean cutting the number of new social homes built this year from 2,000 to 1,400.

Housing associations and those who are on waiting lists – some for many years – are worried.

Grove Community Housing Association plans to build 31 new social homes on a site in north Belfast that it bought in 2019.

But it has faced various planning and infrastructure hurdles including problems trying to get connected to the water and sewerage system.

Chief Executive Agnes Crawford said she was very concerned about the talk of cuts when there were so many people in need.

“There are two risks – there’s a risk of the scheme not being financially viable to deliver and that means all of the homes being shelved which we don’t want to see at all,” she said.

“Or there’s the risk of going ahead with the project with reduced funding, which then means increased borrowing which is difficult then to keep rents at an affordable level.”

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