Speaking ahead of a meeting of Belfast City Council's Planning Committee, People Before Profit councillor Matt Collins has called for a proposal to allow a deserted site in North Belfast to be used for retail to be rejected, saying the dire need for social housing in the area should come first.
"There is an urgent need to build social housing across this city and not surprisingly, the areas most affected by this crisis are those where poverty and deprivation are at its highest, such as North Belfast. Residents and campaigners in the area have done vital work in showing how the Hillview site would be best suited to build social housing. It sits in an area of chronic housing stress, with high rates of poverty and homelessness.”
“PBP believes that it is crucial that Belfast City Council listens not to the wealthy developers, but to the concerns of residents, and facilitates the building of homes where people want and need them. We are calling for maximum social housing usage on this site.”
Campaign groups such as PPR have joined local residents in calling for the social housing need in North Belfast and beyond to be heeded by politicians. Around 12,000 people in the city remain on the housing waiting list in Belfast, often forced to sleep in dire conditions.