SDLP Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop has expressed amazement that the Housing Executive has been sending out letters to people in the Cashendun, Cushendall and Waterfoot encouraging them to move to Cargans which is 10 miles away.
‘This may not seem the end of the earth but it is not the desired location of the people on the waiting list who may be making life-long decisions as to where they wish to live in the future.
‘These are closely-knitted communities where the extended family is very much part of life and in many cases essential to support family members who are elderly or have special needs. Some feel there is a move to evict them.
‘Social housing should be built where there is demand otherwise we get to a stage that people are displaced to areas they do not know, can’t integrate into and in Northern Ireland perhaps places they fear to live in.
The Housing Executive have been in the business for a very long time and while social housing today is built by Housing Associations the Executive still has overall control of major decisions and they should exercise that power to ensure that the people of Cushendun, Cushendall and Waterfoot have an adequate stock of social housing to meet the needs of the residents.
‘I am seeking an early meeting with the Housing Executive and in the meantime would encourage anyone in these villages who may need housing in the foreseeable future to fill out an application form so that need can be assessed accurately. I shall also ask the Executive to conduct lateral surveys as a means of directing housing associations to build houses where they are needed.