Finlock Guttering

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 30 November 2021.

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Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP 2:30, 30 November 2021

T1. Mr Humphrey asked the Minister for Communities whether she will commit to working with the Housing Executive to achieve a lasting solution for its tenants at Silverstream and Tyndale who are facing another winter with Finlock guttering, given that, although he and his colleagues have met the Minister, written to her, raised the issue in the House, met her permanent secretary and have met the former and current chief executive of the Housing Executive, no resolution has been reached, even after a pilot scheme, and the residents have been dealing with these conditions for many decades. (AQT 1851/17-22)

Photo of Deirdre Hargey Deirdre Hargey Sinn Féin

A while ago, I met your counterpart the Chair of the Committee and Councillor Dale Pankhurst, and I also communicated recently. There are issues and barriers around value for money, by way of public spending, that we need to get around. Discussions are ongoing with my departmental officials and the Housing Executive to see whether a resolution can be found. I ask for updates on that because I know that the issue has to be resolved and that residents are regularly being impacted. I will continue to keep that under review, and, once we get a resolution, which, I hope, can be done as soon as possible, we will update Members.

Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP

I thank the Minister for that answer. Minister, we met you, and we recently met the chief executive of the Housing Executive, and we will meet her again in the near future. Many of those families are working class and are on low incomes and do not have the money to do the work themselves. They need the support of government to get a resolution. I implore you, along with the Housing Executive, to deal with the issue and get a solution as quickly as possible.

Photo of Deirdre Hargey Deirdre Hargey Sinn Féin

We are proactively trying to do that. Those residents live in a working-class community like mine, so I completely understand the issues that are impacting them. Members from your party met me on the issue, and I know that they regularly work with residents there.

Some of the issues relate to the make-up of the homes, which are in private and public ownership, and value for money and the limitations that we have around government spend within that criteria. My officials proactively engage with the Housing Executive regularly to see whether we can find a solution to the issue. We will continue to work with you and engage with you until we get a resolution. I would like to see that done as soon as possible.