Confusion reigns over an MLA’s claim that the Housing Executive painted a white PVC window frame brown so it would match up with existing wooden frames on a property.
But the Housing Executive have rejected his version of events and maintain there are no PVC windows at the premises - despite the fact that they refer to the windows as PVC in an official letter.
Paul Frew, the DUP MLA for North Antrim said he had been dealing with the Housing Executive for several months after they replaced a number of window frames on the house at Chichester Park with white PVC.
“The problem was all the other remaining windows were brown wood,” said Mr. Frew. “The Executive had written to me in January to confirm that an order had been raised to replace the white PVC windows with wooden in order to address this situation but to my, and the constituent’s amazement, they came out and painted the brand new white PVC windows with brown paint.
“This has made an awful mess of the windows and the dwelling, with the heavy rain lately the paint is already starting to flake off and, in fact, the Housing Executive has been out twice to repaint the window and still the paint won’t stick. It would have taken the Housing Executive about three hours to replace the PVC windows with wooden ones as they had suggested and confirmed to me they were going to do. This is yet another example of HE throwing good money down the drain instead of rectifying their original mistake.”
But the Housing Executive, while acknowledging they had sent out a ‘mistaken letter’ issued a statement rejecting the MLA’s claims.
A spokesperson said: “This flat required two new double glazed wooden framed windows and I can confirm two double glazed wooden framed windows were installed. The windows are being painted brown to match the existing windows and another coat of paint is required, this will be completed shortly weather permitting.
“There are no PVC windows in this property. “This flat is owned by a private householder, however, the Housing Executive is responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building which includes the windows.”
It seems that the frames supplied by the Housing Executive were indeed primarily wood but with some plastic material associated.
We understand the frames had been spray painted white and this, in conjunction with a letter from the Housing Executive referring to a white window PVC installation at the premises was the source of confusion.
Mr. Frew said: “We had been told in an official letter from NIHE that the frames referred to were PVC. The NIHE now acknowledge that letter was mistaken and that has led to the overall confusion on this issue.
“The fact remains that we have brown paint peeling from the white plastic portions of these windows. I visited the property and now acknowledge I based my judgement on what I had been told in a letter and what I could see of the paint peeling off the plastic.”