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Fra McCann – Time to relook at delivery of social housing

7 July, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Fein Housing Spokesperson Fra McCann MLA, commenting on the audit office report into housing associations here has said that the Department of Social Development “needs to carry some of the responsibility for the problems in a number of housing associations”.

Speaking after the publication of the report Mr McCann said;

“The management of associations is ultimately the responsibility of DSD; it is incumbent on them to ensure that the governance and financial controls are in place to ensure the smooth delivery of social housing. It is not surprising that maintenance has been targeted by the audit office; another issue of concern is the ability to actually deliver much needed housing on time.

I realise that there are many associations which have good records but decisions many years ago to remove housing new build from the housing executive and transferring it to housing associations was wrong and from my understanding was based purely on the amount of private finance which could be drawn down from financial institutions.

I have worked closely with a number of local housing associations, several which have been facing difficulties, but through hard work and support have come out the other end in a healthier position. The fact that there are a sizable number of associations which have been identified in this report highlights the need for a radical relook at the delivery of social housing in all its aspects.” CRÍOCH

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