IT has emerged that there is currently 404 people homeless in the area, with almost 700 households waiting on social housing and 145 homes needed within the next five years.
668 households are currently on the social housing waiting list in the Fermanagh and Omagh District and during 2017-20, around 42 new homes are planned throughout the area, with 24 of those houses in Enniskillen.
It has been revealed that single households dominate the waiting list with 160 applicants in housing stress registered for Enniskillen, while there are 50 elderly applicants in housing stress in the town.
There is currently a need for 119 houses in Enniskillen, and 20 for Omagh.
At a Special Council meeting in Omagh on Monday night, the Fermanagh and Omagh Housing Investment Plan was presented to councillors, and the figures were revealed.
Last year 404 people were termed homeless while 331 homes were allocated to waiting list applicants. Local Councillor Diana Armstrong believes the projected plans are short compared to the waiting list figures.
“34% of our population will be 65 and over by 2025 is this is a big worry. We have to future proof our housing plans because we have older and vulnerable people needing housing. I think the 145 projected builds are desperately shorter than what we need, and we could possibly need more consultation with communities. In Erne North, they say there is no demand for social housing, but the communities are saying we do need them.”
And Belleek councillor John Coyle believes that the social housing needs to be future-proofed in order to protect those in need.
“The plans for the next five years is to build 145 social houses in Fermanagh and Omagh. 119 of those are in Enniskillen, 20 in Omagh and that just leaves six for the rural areas.
“Social housing has been under-invested in. When there are so many people living in housing stress, it is completely unacceptable. My heart goes out to the people who are in housing stress and are crying out for houses that they need.
It has been raised that the population is getting older, so elderly accommodation needs to be addressed now and future proofed. We need them houses now!”