Hussey calls for cavity wall action for tenants

Derek Hussey.
Derek Hussey.

Ulster Unionist Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Derek Hussey has called on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to move quickly to address concerns that cavity wall insulation in their properties may no longer be effective.

The Castlederg based Ulster Unionist Alderman said: “The latest Home Energy Conservation Authority Progress Report states that in 2014 the Housing Executive published a research report into the effectiveness of cavity wall insulation within its stock.

“This was carried out following suggestions by the local industry that insulation installed in homes in the 1980s and early 90s may no longer be fit for purpose.

“The Housing Executive commissioned the South Eastern Regional College to examine 206 properties to assess the performance and effectiveness of existing cavity wall insulation. The Housing Executive was later to assess the findings of the survey, in the context of the recently commissioned stock condition survey, to determine spending priorities over the next 5 years.

“What the report fails to mention however that is the research report highlighted that only 9.2 per cent of NIHE properties examined had adequate insulation, with 90.8 per cent needing some form of remedial action.

“Worryingly the NIHE has been aware of this issue since the Housing Condition Survey of 2011. On a Northern Ireland level Fuel Poverty remains stubbornly high at 42 per cent.

“The resulting cold and damp has a significant impact on individual health in terms of resistance to infection, respiratory illnesses and general well-being. This impacts further on the demands on the health service and adds to the traditional winter pressures.”

Alderman Hussey concluded by adding: “While the NIHE has commissioned further surveys and considers what action to take, it is clear that a robust investment plan and funding commitment is required to make their housing stock fit for purpose.

“I now urge that NIHE tell us how many properties may be affected within the Londonderry and wider Strabane areas and that they outline any plans to address the matter.”