Savage secures major Social & Affordable Housing Conference for Newry
Councillor Savage commented:
"Building on the successful Housing Symposium we held last January, and the motion I proposed in April prioritising Social Housing in planning and the asset management review, which was unanimously supported in the chamber, we now aim to hold a major Social and Affordable Housing Conference in Newry in February.
“Given the scale of the problem we are hoping that the new Permanent Secretary for the Department of Communities will attend. Likewise we hope to secure keynote addresses from the Chief Executive of the Housing Executive and the Council CEO. The aim of the conference itself is to come up with potential solutions and explore how Government Departments and Statutory Bodies can collaborate better to deal with the housing crisis in Newry.
“There are mounting and well-documented challenges in relation to poor, depleted or simply lack of housing stock in our city. A number of factors ensure that Newry is heading for the 'perfect storm' in relation to social and affordable housing need.
"The SDLP have long believed that housing is a fundamental right and because of the housing shortage, there is now a generation of young people not being given the opportunity of having a place to call their own. This is a huge challenge and one that has to be taken seriously. I welcome the cross-party support this motion has received. As councillors we all see the pressures that are on the housing system in our city and want to ensure that the Council plays a key role in facilitating dialogue that leads to solutions and citizens getting a social or affordable home of their own.
“It is my hope that by working with council officials, the Housing Executive and Department of Communities and other key stakeholders we can pull together a meaningful conference that identifies key outcomes and develops robust mechanisms to mitigate this crisis."