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Housing: Waiting Lists

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to reduce housing waiting lists in Northern Ireland; and what targets have been put in place relating to the reduction of such lists. (126963)

The Government are committed to reducing housing waiting lists and are investing in a range of measures to achieve this objective.

The main method of meeting housing need is through reallocation of existing stock supplemented by additional new build. There are also strategies in place to purchase suitable homes and to bring vacant properties back into social housing use. The private rented sector has also grown significantly and is increasingly an important source of housing supply.

The current five-year social housing development programme makes provision for 1,500 social housing units annually, subject to the availability of funding. The need for additional social housing is addressed in the current comprehensive spending review. The Semple review into affordability, which is due to be published shortly, is expected to contain recommendations to help reduce waiting lists.