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McCann comments of Housing Bill

14 March, 2011 - by Fra McCann

Sinn Féin MLA and housing spokesperson Fra McCann has welcomed the final stages of the Housing Bill coming to the Assembly.

Speaking today Mr McCann said:

“I welcome the passage of this bill through this house today. As Sinn Féin members on the social development committee we argued that the bill did not go as far as it should have gone on a number of issues.

“In terms of providing protections within the private rented sector and tackling anti social behaviour we welcome the advances but more needs to be done some thing Sinn Fein members will pick up in the next mandate.

“For instance mandatory registration of the private rented sector is crucial for the protection of the many thousands of people who live in this sector which now provides more houses to the housing market than both the Housing Executive and Housing Associations combined.Up until now this sector has been totally unregulated.

“Sinn Féin brought two separate motions to the Assembly to deal with this and I am glad to see these issue dealt with.

"Also part of the bill is protection for tenants who pay deposits to a landlord. We in Sinn Féin have argued this point and hope this will assist people who have had their deposits with held.

“In terms of dealing with anti-social behaviour, damage to properties and the affect anti-social tenants have on local communities has been an ongoing issue and Sinn Féin also argued strongly for some time that we needed to review the anti social powers and how we could strengthen the hands of housing providers and the courts when dealing with anti social cases.

“We constantly need to look at how we deal with this issue; it has become the single biggest issue raised by our constituents.

“In all there are ongoing challenges to housing within the north that have long been outstanding problems that surfaced under direct rule. These will take continual monitoring and vigilance in order to provide first class housing provision.”

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