Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann has called on the Minister
for Social Development to champion the cause of home-owners who have seen the
condition of their property deteriorate since the means-tested grants
ceased some years ago.
The West Belfast MLA and Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing said:
“I have dealt with home owners, many of
them elderly, who are not in a financial position to have urgent repairs or works
carried out to their homes. They have old and broken heating systems,
dampness, leaking roofs, rotten windows and a lot of other problems.
“They can’t even avail of the boiler replacement scheme because they can not afford it. We are looking at thousands of people who are suffering because of the shortsighted decision to end means-tested grants, a decision which has had far reaching consequences for the people who own them.“Given the current stress on housing stock there is an onus on the minister to maintain a high standard of housing whether it be in the private or rented sector.
“Major investment is required and the minister needs to go to the Executive and press for action. The work will not only improve peoples lives but will provide thousands of jobs in the construction sector and ensure that these homes are brought up to the most environmentally friendly standards.”