O'Loan congratulates Ritchie on record house building figures

NORTH ANTRIM SDLP MLA Declan O'Loan has congratulated Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie on achieving record levels of house building despite serious financial presures.

He said "It has been announced that Margaret Ritchie has broken through her social housing target by providing 1,838 new homes in a year against a target of 1,750. That target was in itself a huge increase in recent performance since the average number of new homes built per year since 1999 was only 1,300.

"To have achieved this in the current financial climate is remarkable. As a member of the Finance Committee I know the position and have spoken frequently in the Assembly on this issue. I know that this succesS was only achieved as a result of very good management and a clear focus on results.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"This is not the end of it as Margaret Ritchie has committed to deliver at least 2000 homes next year. Waiting lists for houses, while still high, have reduced significantly,” said Mr O’Loan.

"The Minister has called for housing to be put on a sound financial footing. This has not just been an idle call - she has started to do this by securing 21million from the Housing Finance Corporation. I know that other new funding approaches are being actively worked upon.

"This is one of the best examples that I know of the Assembly actually working. It will be warmly welcomed by the public,” he said.