Workers Party representative in the Oldpark area, Chris Bailie, has rounded on local politicians and individuals who he says “have made North Belfast’s housing crisis worse by their nakedly sectarian approach to the problem and their blatant disregard for those in need of a home and those seeking improved housing conditions”
“There is a housing crisis in North Belfast”, Chris said “Waiting lists are growing and not enough homes are being built. Much of the existing housing stock is in need of urgent upgrading”
“Yet there are no serious plans to address these problems let alone make serious inroads to tackling them”, he said.
“Many local politicians and a number of individuals see this housing crisis solely in terms of a sectarian headcount. They are much more interested in making sure that ‘the other side’ don’t get houses rather than supporting a comprehensive house building and repair programme for the north Belfast area,” protested Chris.
“The Girdwood Barracks proposals are an unfortunate example of a blatant sectarian carve up. The DUP and Sinn Fein want a segregated housing development in which there are no winners with a ‘community hub’ between the two. That is nothing more than a designer Peace Wall”, he said.
“The right to a home is a basic human right. Unfortunately it is a right increasingly denied to a growing number of people in north Belfast because sectarian head counting has become more important than building houses.” concluded Chris.
Nicely put Chris. A “designer peace wall” is sadly all we have to show for this tribal carve up.
The GFA has – with a DUP/Shinner coalition – embedded communal sectarianism. “If ever the Marxist dialectic of one contradiction giving way to a fresh contradiction was evident in any situation, it is surely visible in the Good Friday Agreement.” (Tommy McKearney,2011).
Ireland’s abiding evil is that her people remain disunited, and we continually fail to substitute the common name and identity of Irishmen/women in place of the denominations and sectarian tribes.