Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has met with local politicians and community representatives at Glengormley’s Queens Park.
The North Belfast MLA was invited to the estate by Queens Park Women’s Group on July 8 to discuss a variety of housing issues affecting local residents.
Also in attendance at the meeting were North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds, Paula Bradley MLA and local DUP Councillor Phillip Brett.
Among the issues discussed were the ongoing delay in progressing the Housing Executive’s External Cyclical Maintenance programme for the estate, and the need for new social housing in the area.
Councillor Brett told the Times: “The last time social housing was built in Glengormley was in 1972 and the Executive will once again fail to meet the social housing need in Glengormley this year.
“The Executive’s projected shortfall will be 110 homes over the next five years.
“We are putting pressure on them to ensure they start to build in Glengormley.
“The houses on the Antrim Road, a development of twenty homes, are now under way and we went through a site map with the Housing Executive to highlight sites which could be used. We want to see as many new homes as possible.”
“I have been addressing this issue. Nowhere else would it be acceptable to not have built houses since 1972.
“We are now hopeful of some progress and that some sites have been identified which could be used.”
Cllr Brett said that the housing shortage was compounded by the delay in the Housing Executive’s External Cyclical Maintenance programme, which has seen a failure to carry out repairs on existing Housing Executive properties.
He continued: “Residents are frustrated. They were expecting these repairs to be done and they have no option of moving as no new homes have been built by the Housing Executive.
“But the Housing Executive is not keeping up its current houses either.”
During Mr McCausland’s visit, the Minister viewed problems with the current houses such as broken windows and fences with a Housing Executive Representative.
Cllr Brett added: “Mr McCausland is the MLA for the area as well as being the Social Development Minister, so he was aware of the problems that existed and is working with Mr Dodds to press them into building new houses.”
Cllr Brett revealed that representatives are to meet with the Housing Executive to monitor improvements.