Dobson repeats call for housing reform

L-r: Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Bill Little, Len Whimpanny and Rodney Mitchell from Seapatrick Community Association and Judith McNamee, NIHE Senior Housing Manager and Denise McNally, NIHE South Area Manager.
L-r: Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Bill Little, Len Whimpanny and Rodney Mitchell from Seapatrick Community Association and Judith McNamee, NIHE Senior Housing Manager and Denise McNally, NIHE South Area Manager.
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Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has repeated her call for the DSD Minister to reform and update the social housing allocation system used by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Commenting following a recent meeting with representatives of the Seapatrick Community Association and Housing Executive officials Mrs Dobson said: “I have long been concerned at the impact which the present system of housing allocation has on our local communities.

“The Housing Executive must be allowed to facilitate greater input from community associations when it comes to the allocation of properties because everyone has the right to live in peace within their neighbourhoods. “The current system which allocates points to prospective housing executive tenants does not take into account any previous breeches of tenancy agreements or indeed anti-social or disruptive behaviour.

“I have repeatedly called on the DSD Ministers to consider a system which as well as adding points also, under certain circumstances, removes them.

“This would be a much fairer way of ensuring that Housing Executive properties are allocated to those in the greatest need and also those who are most deserving of and respectful towards social housing.

“When I raised this issue with the then DSD Minister Mervyn Storey in the Assembly last year I was told that the points system was under review.

“However, it is still very clear that many feel that allocations are unfair and do not take into account the feelings of residents and home owners who take a real sense of pride in their community.

“A system which has no mechanism to remove points because of either previous breeches of tenancy agreements or disorderly or disruptive behaviour must be reformed before it is too late.”