Alliance Social Development Spokesperson Anna Lo MLA has demanded that Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie take action to show she is serious about mixed housing in new developments and within the current housing stock. Last October Direct Rule Ministers launched the first mixed housing scheme in a generation, in County Fermanagh, but Margaret Ritchie has said very little on this issue since taking office almost six weeks ago.
Opposition MLA, Anna Lo, stated: “The Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie must up the tempo on the mixed housing initiative that her Direct Rule counterpart started last year. She has been rather quiet on the issue of creating more mixed developments since she took up office almost six weeks ago.
“We saw the launch of the first mixed housing scheme in a generation, in County Fermanagh last October. We need more action on this issue. This scheme was apparently a pilot project and we would like to see if the new Minister plans any more of these type of housing developments.
“The Social Development Minister is in the perfect position to act to start creating the shared future that local people want, and so richly deserve.
“An Alliance Party study indicated that one billion pounds is wasted every on keeping Northern Ireland divided. We will keep the pressure on the Executive to release the Deloittes report on the cost of segregation, and we will keep pushing them to set about ending division.
“We want the Minister to set out any plans for creating any new mixed housing developments or creating more mixed environments within the current housing stock. Its all well and good to talk about a shared future, but action is really what local people need.”