Better homes must be outcome of tower block strategy

31 May 2018

Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots has said that residents of Housing Executive tower blocks must be at the centre of proposals for the future of the blocks. He was commenting on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s Draft Tower Block Plan.

There are 33 tower blocks across Northern Ireland, including some within Mr Poots constituency.

He said,

“It is absolutely vital that the Housing Executive consults properly with tenants, owners and local representatives about proposals for each of the tower blocks across Northern Ireland. There are different local circumstances within different communities and these will require bespoke solutions with residents at the heart of the decision-making process. Across Northern Ireland there are tower blocks with differing levels of occupancy and in differing states of repair. Proposals for some will be much easier to deliver than for others.

Whilst there may be financial benefits for NIHE in taking forward this programme, the priority must be to provide better homes for the residents of blocks across Northern Ireland. That means either providing new homes or improving the conditions of current tower blocks.

The DUP has been consistent in calling for better quality homes across Northern Ireland and this remains our firm position. There will be many questions in the minds of residents of tower blocks about where and when they will be rehoused. Those who have purchased flats will similarly have questions about their future. The first step in any process must be to give clear answers to residents about the timescale and process of any redevelopment.”

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