UUP welcome home upgrade plans for NIHE housing stock

UPGRADES: Julia Kee. INLS3014MC001
UPGRADES: Julia Kee. INLS3014MC001

UUP community worker, Julia Kee, has welcomed news that the Housing Executive is to start work on much-needed up-grades to housing stock.

In a statement this week Ms Kee said that members of the UUP had become concerned about the condition of the housing stock owned by the Housing Executive, which had fallen behind the standard set down for private landlords.

She said that the UUP had received numerous complaints from tenants about the quality of housing, and said in an era when landlords had to register to ensure housing was fit for purpose, it was appropriate to ask questions.

“We are delighted to hear that many schemes are going ahead in the Waterside, but disappointed that the DSD Minister, Mervyn Storey, who is in charge of housing has said schemes were dependent on future finance. The UUP in Foyle feel this money for vital services should be ring-fenced,” she said.

“We have asked the Minister in relation specifically to the proposed upgrades to Waterside housing stock to detail when it will start, the expected completion date and the number of houses in the Waterside that will have the ‘retrofit’ double glazing replaced by upgraded double glazed windows,” she said.

Ms Kee continued: “It is music to tenants’ ears that these upgrades are going ahead. this vital work is central to the health and well-being of many residents in the Waterside.

“The UUP have been pressing hard for the upgrades to happen and we will continue to work with tenants to ensure this is the case,” she said.

According to the Housing Executive, 674 retrofit double glazing upgrades will take place between June 2015 and March 2016, while 185 kitchen replacements are planned between August 2015 and May 2016 for Stevenson Park and Duddy Court.

Meanwhile 97 heating replacements will be carried out to homes in the Waterside district by July 2015 and 155 external maintenance schemes are planned for the Claudy and Lettershandoney area, which are expected to get underway by May next year and completed on or before February 2016.