The TUV’s local election candidate for the Macedon area, David Hollis, has called on the Housing Minister to take steps to ensure that a window replacement scheme at Green End, Rathcoole is progressed immediately.
Mr Hollis said that he has received a number of complaints from residents of the area about the condition of the double glazing in their flats.
“They claim that rain and wind is leaking through existing out of date and broken down windows, which is intolerable. Heating rooms at great expense and losing the heat through these broken down windows cannot be tolerated,” he commented.
The issue was raised recently by TUV leader Jim Allister with DSD Minister Nelson McCausland, who confirmed that Green End is not included in the Housing Executive’s schedule for window replacement schemes.
The Minister did however reveal that the Housing Executive has included Green End in Extended Cyclic Maintenance, which is estimated to start in the autumn of 2015.
“The need for replacement of the existing double glazing will be determined upon completion of condition surveys for that scheme,” an NIHE spokesperson said.
Mr Hollis continued: “The residents do not need a survey to take place in 18 months time to tell them that their windows need replaced. Mr McCausland should listen to the residents who are suffering cold and damp, not to someone from the NIHE who seems to think that they can wait for another 18 months.
“Mr McCausland, as an MLA for North Belfast, has a duty to his electorate at Green End to have this scheme implemented immediately.”
A Housing Executive spokesperson stressed that residents experiencing problems with their windows should report issues to the office at Rantalard House so that they can be dealt with as part of response maintenance.
A spokesperson for the Department for Social Development commented: “Mr Hollis clearly does not understand that Minister McCausland does not have any role in relation to the operational issues of the Housing Executive which in fact is overseen by a Board which is responsible for its general policy, management and operation. Neither does the Minister have any role in relation to repairs to Housing Executive properties which is entirely a matter for the NIHE.
“The Minister is however committed to ensuring that NIHE tenants receive effective service and good quality homes. That is why he set the Programme for Government target to have all Housing Executive homes double glazed by March 2015 with a focus on those most in need, that is, homes which currently only have single glazing. The Minister regularly monitors NIHE progress against this target.”