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Alex Maskey to attend protest by Village residents at Stormont

22 January, 2008

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey is to attend a protest by residents from the Village area of South Belfast on the steps of Stormont at 2:30 on Tuesday 22nd January.

The protest has been organised by the residents of the Village area to highlight the inaction of the Department of Social Development (DSD) in dealing with the chronic housing conditions in the area.

Speaking in support of the protest Mr Maskey said:

"The conditions in which people in the village area are living, is an absolute disgrace. To learn that elderly people are living in accommodation with no heating, no bathroom facilities, no inside toilet and no upstairs electricity is alarming.

"Community workers in the area have informed me of a case where an elderly man was found dead in his home over the Christmas period. Neighbours who found the man were horrified to find that his oven had been left on, as it was the only source of heating in the home.

"The people of the Village are entitled to a decent standard of living. Over many months, the community have been given promises from a number of sources, including DSD, and then excuses, with the Minister blaming other departments. It is time for the excuses to stop and time for the delivery of the promises. I would call on Margaret Ritchie to act immediately to put an end to this disgraceful situation.

"Sinn Féin fought hard for considerable resources for Housing within the Executive and now it is time for Margaret Ritchie to stop blaming everyone else and to start delivering by improving the conditions for people living not just in the Village area but indeed for everyone who deserves decent housing conditions." ENDS

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