Ritchie concerned by Housing Executive decision

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A LOCAL councillor has expressed concerns for the future housing provision in Antrim if the Northern Ireland Housing Executive is dissolved .

The Housing Minister Nelson McCausland announced last week announced a new Social Housing Reform Programme.

But, Antrim councillor Drew Ritchie said the minister’s statement provides more questions than answers.

“The Northern Ireland Housing Executive was established during a very difficult time in our history. The work they carried out through the years of the Troubles is a credit to them,” Ald. Ritchie said.

He added: “Indeed, it is ironic that these proposals now have the potential to create an uneven playing field in the allocation of social housing, given that the Housing Executive was formed to abolish inequalities in this area.

“The minister’s statement provides more questions than answers. Will we see smaller, localised housing associations squeezed out in favour of large “super associations?

“How does he intend to ensure that houses are being allocated fairly and on the grounds of need? What plans does he have in place to deal with the inevitable job losses which will stem from these proposals?

“Whilst I acknowledge that reform of the Housing Executive was needed, I have concerns about the future of social housing in Northern Ireland.”

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