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U-turn of housing sales discount will benefit thousands

24 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has welcomed the u-turn on the refusal to grant people seeking to purchase their Housing Executive homes the discount available under the right to buy scheme. He said that this would benefit thousands of people who will now be able to claim the full discount in buying their own homes.

Mr McCann, who spearheaded the campaign to have the full discount denied to people overturned, said:

"I am delighted that the Housing Executive and department have finally seen sense. This will benefit thousands of people who were denied access to the discount to buy their own homes.

"The department's approach to this consultation has been a disgrace. The decision to suspend the right to buy scheme at the start of the consultation process in May last year, until October, was the wrong way to go about it. They should have waited until the outcome of the consultation.

"It is clear that the judicial review, that commences today in Belfast, was instrumental in bringing the government to its senses. The result is that the government will now have to pay back some £5 million, to hundreds of people that it prevented from being able to buy their homes under the right to but scheme." ENDS

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