Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Moves to cap numbers of HMO's welcomed

28 June, 2006

South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey, speaking after yesterday's meeting with British Direct Rule Minister David Cairns and after attending the launch of the Planning Service's Subject plan on Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's), has welcomed the report as the first step in dealing with the HMO issue.

The South Belfast MLA said:

"The HMO issue is a major issue in South Belfast. Yesterday‚s meeting with British Direct Rule Minister David Cairns was extremely useful. It was a welcome opportunity to put raise first hand this issue.

"We expressed our view that there must be a single point of management to deal with the HMO issue and other difficulties which are associated with them, and that more must be done to ensure that HMO‚s and landlords are registered and adequately regulated.

Speaking about the launch of the Planning Services HMO Subject Plan Cllr. Maskey MLA said:

"I would broadly welcome the publication of this report, particularly plans to cap the number of HMO's in specified areas, as the first step in developing a comprehensive plan to deal with the issue of HMO's. This is something we have long campaigned on and Sinn Féin will be making a more detailed submission in time on this document.

"I am mindful that for some areas this may have come too late. However, I believe that there is potential in this document, if it is implemented as part of a coherent strategy, to reverse some of the detrimental effects that the over-proliferation of HMO's have had on many communities.

"Moves to work towards the building of proper student accommodation are also to be welcomed and will, hopefully, take much of the pressure off of local residential communities.

"I believe that many residents in South Belfast breathe a huge sigh of relief that at last this issue is being taken seriously. It is now up to all of us to ensure that there can be no backtracking on the proposals laid out in this document." ENDS

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