Monday, 20 August 2012

North Belfast housing need

I was tidying up some newspaper cuttings today and came across some articles relating to housing need in North Belfast.

The first was in The Irish News on 19 June and Frank Dempsey, a member of Carrick Hill Residents Association and St Patrick's and St Joseph's Housing Committee said, 'What does a nationalist have to do to get a house in north Belfast?'

The second article was in the North Belfast News on 7 July and Geraldine O'Kane, chairwoman of Greater Whitewell Community Surgery,  was welcoming the announcement that new houses are to be built on the site of the former Felden complex.  The report also noted that the keys had been handed over for new homes in Bawnmore.  According to the report, 'The housing campaigner said the social housing boost in the area  had been massively welcomed by local people.'

Here we have two very different perspectives.  Frank Dempsey asks, 'What does a nationalist have to do to get a house in north Belfast,' implying that no houses are being provided for nationlaists,

On the other hand Geraldine O'Kane welcomes the completion of new homes in the nationalist Bawnmore area. 

There are some nationalists who cannot bring themselves to accept that there has been a higher level of new social housing provision in nationalist north Belfast than in any other part of Northern Ireland and Frank Dempsey seems to be in that camp.  Such erroneous and unfounded views are deeply divisive.  They damage community relations and that is regrettable, especially because they are erroneous.  Either houses are being built or they are not and it is clear that they are.

This is the first of several posts on housing in North Belfast and the next will be on a small housing development at Somervale, a much-needed development that was held up for almost ten years and the leading opponent was Alex Attwood of the SDLP.

I want to see house building in both unionist and nationalist areas because it is clear that there is a need in both communities.


  1. Nelson as this is your areas lets have the figures you are talking about. Lets see the list of numebr os new houses built in each area of North Belfast.

    1. The Social Housing Development Programme is published on the internet. You can check it yourself.