Róisín Bennett: "People In Real Fear Of Homelessness As Cost of Living Crisis Worsens"
The Aontú candidate for the South Antrim constituency, Róisín Bennett, has said that families are "at breaking point" when it comes to the cost of rent.
Speaking today, Ms Bennett said: "In the few short weeks I've been canvassing thus far I've noticed how rapidly the situation in relation to rent and cost of living has spiralled out of control. Many families across this constituency are now at breaking point - they've now come to the heart-breaking realisation that no matter how much they cut back on spending on heat and food, they will not be able to make next month's rent. A few weeks ago the feedback on the doorsteps from families was that they'd struggle to pay their rent, now they are saying that they definitely won't be able to pay".
Ms Bennett continued: "Hundreds of families in South Antrim are facing the very likely and real prospect of homelessness. The cost of rent in this county is criminal. Some landlords are revelling in the low supply of houses and the dysfunctional market as they can now raise rents sky high without any consequence. There are over 44.000 people on housing waiting lists and the points system used to move people up the waiting list is not fit for purpose . It also seems that in some areas of south Antrim it’s a matter of who you know which moves you up the list and this is just not acceptable".
"Everyone has the basic human right to have a roof over their heads and if elected I will personally do everything in my power to fight to get more homes built for those in need. Construction of homes for the people of the six counties should always have been deemed essential and should have continued throughout the pandemic. The reality is that site closures were widespread during the pandemic, due to the government's attitudes and announcements. Stormont has yet again been left broken with no thought whatsoever for those most in need through one of the worst cost of living crises in recent years and it’s time now for the citizens of the north of Ireland to stand up and be heard. Furthermore, in the interim, between now and the election, the rental crisis needs to be treated as an emergency, and emergency measures put in place", concluded Ms Bennett.