SDLP Social Development spokesperson Mark H Durkan has responded to a statement form Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland in the Assembly today on social housing reform.
The Foyle MLA said:
While I welcome the fact that Nelson McCausland has seen fit to bring this latest statement on the future of social housing reform to the assembly there are still major concerns about its implications.
In particular people will be very interested in how the proposed transfer of the landlord function of NIHE while it has been presumed widely that stock will be transferred to housing associations.
The Minister has not ruled out “bespoke bodies” taking on this role. This will set alarm bells ringing for staff and tenants alike as commercial entities have not been ruled out.
The SDLP initiated the reform of the NIHE with a view to improve efficiency and delivery of social housing.
However in the hands of the DUP this reform seems to be more about the abolition of the Housing Executive.
The aim to have the new system and structures in place by March 2015 is in my opinion highly ambitious.
I would much prefer if the Minister showed the same ambition in tackling current housing crisis and provide homes for thousands of people on waiting lists here.
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