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Posted on Friday 11 January 2013 by Shelter NI

PRESS RELEASE

 

Shelter Northern Ireland comments on latest Ministerial Statement on the demise of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

 

Summary

 

The issues identified in the Ministerial Statement about the delivery of new social housing programmes, landlord and non-landlord services must be carefully considered in respect of housing rights.

 

Detail

 

Wednesday, the Minister, Nelson McCausland finally released his long anticipated headline statement referring to a way forward for the breakup of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the consequences for service delivery to its tenants and non-landlord services, with proposals to strengthen the DSD’s regulation and inspection role, leaving open options for the development of new social housing programmes and new structures for social rent setting. The statement comes almost immediately after the closing date of the short consultation on Facing the Future: the Ministers Comprehensive Housing Strategy where these proposals were first set out also with little detail. The Minister states that he has received the Stormont Executives approval to proceed with proposals to set out the strategic direction for the future delivery of social housing. Clearly the Stormont Executive believes that the NIHE has no future in its present form.

 

Speaking today, Shelter Northern Ireland Director Tony Mc Quillan said: “Housing is a right and government must act accordingly. The state has a responsibility to ensure a sufficient supply of housing so that everyone who needs a home is able to access one which is affordable, of good quality and which guarantees them security for as long as they wish to live there.  The DSD Ministers’ statement refers to a number of principles underpinning future arrangements for social housing, but does not provide much detail.”

 

“Any proposal to hand over the remaining 90,000 NIHE homes which are owned by the Public to housing associations or otherwise completely privatise the Public housing stock could distance the state from long standing local and international obligations particularly to homeless people, to other vulnerable people and people who are retired, unemployed or otherwise on a low income. ”

 

- More -

 

In the absence of a Comprehensive Housing Strategy, in the first instance, Shelter NI calls on the Stormont Executive to honour its obligations to all citizens here to ensure that their housing rights will be met.

 

END

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