Empty homes almost equal to homeless total
FINANCE Minister Sammy Wilson has revealed there were almost as many vacant homes in Londonderry at the start of 2013 as there were people presenting as homeless in the city.
Mr Wilson revealed 1,246 domestic properties were recorded as vacant in Londonderry at December 31.
In November the Sentinel reported that the amount of people presenting as homeless in Londonderry increased from 1,013 to 1,655 between 2001 and 2011 - an increase of 63 per cent.
Now Mr Wilson has revealed that 1,246 homes were lying emptyon New Year’s Eve. By contrast 42,307 homes in the city were recorded as occupied.
Revealing the details in response to an Assembly Question Mr Wilson pointed out that: “There is no requirement for ratepayers to inform Land & Property Services that their property is vacant.”
Last year the Sentinel reported that between 2001 and 2011 the number of people on the housing waiting list in the city increased every single year from 1,493 to 2,993.
Although, it dropped back slightly to 2,762 in 2012 the percentage increase over the decade remained a staggering 85 per cent.
Last year the Sentinel also reported how landlords increased their profits from homelessness in Londonderry three fold in the past five years.
Back in 2007/8 the people of Northern Ireland paid Londonderry landlords £265,169 to provide temporary/emergency accommodation to housing benefit recipients but this rocketed to £892,185 last year - a three fold increase.
The increase in Londonderry’s Waterside was even higher. In 2007/8 private Waterside landlords received £14,293 in housing benefit payments. But this increased to £100,138 in 2011/12 - a seven fold increase.
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Weather for Londonderry
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
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