Tenants haven’t been forgotten says Executive

Kitchen scheme, Edenderry, Banbridge. March 2011
Kitchen scheme, Edenderry, Banbridge. March 2011

The schedule for kitchen replacement schemes at Housing Executive properties is purely based on age factors, a Council committee has heard.

The comments came in response to a claim by Deputy Mayor Timothy Gaston that tenants living in rural estates at Clough and Craigywarren felt ‘forgotten’ as far as such improvement schemes were concerned, stating: “They seem to be the last in any work being carried out.”

Presenting the latest NIHE investment plan for the area last week, Regional Manager for the North, Frank O Connor, said most Housing Executive maintenance programmes such as energy efficiency and kitchen replacements are “age related”.

Responding Mr O’Connor told him: “I can assure you they have not been forgotten about...The geography doesn’t matter, it’s very largely age driven”.

Councillors heard that kitchen replacements were, for example, carried out on a 20 year cycle and that while exterior painting schemes had been carried out on a five year cycle this had been put back to eight years to facilitate the prioritisation of double glazing.

Mr O’Connor revealed that this year in the Mid & East Antrim Council area the organisation will spend almost £9.2m on planned and response maintenance to its homes. This will include 162 fire doors, outside maintenance work to 1000 homes, new heating in 336 homes, smoke alarms for 609 homes, kitchens for 499 homes and the installation of double glazing in 224 homes.

NIHE will also support tenants who need help to live independently by providing adaptations with £404k spent last year on works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.