Frew ‘out of patience’ with housing delays

Paul Frew MLA (Editorial Image).
Paul Frew MLA (Editorial Image).

He told The Times: “People are waiting years for schemes to commence then being told that the work they desperately need doing has been put back by years. This simply is not good enough.

“Housing Executive tenants need and require this work to be completed as it is impacting on their lives but also making the property more susceptible to further damage.”

Mr Frew stated that tenants in Ard-Na-Maine, Cullybackey, have been waiting for an External Cyclic Maintenance Scheme for a number of years.

He said: “I was told back in early 2013 that work wouldn’t be completed until September, 2015. Now the people are told it will not happen until at least March, 2016.

“In Ballykeel I am also awaiting work to be completed on 50 garages that has now been pushed back into next financial year. Also work that has been promised to start in the spring of this year on the flat roofs in Ballykeel 1 and Chicester Park East in Harryville has also been delayed.

”I would plead with the Housing Executive ‘please get these schemes on the ground and work commenced’. My constituent have waited long enough,” he said.

Responding, an NIHE spokesperson said: “Whilst there has been delay in the delivery of some schemes, the Housing Executive is pleased to confirm that almost £400,000 investment will be made in Cullybackey through the external cyclical maintenance scheme, encompassing Ard-na-Maine, and will include 322 properties and 23 garages. It is anticipated that this scheme will go on-site in March 2016, subject to budgets and approvals.

“Additionally, at Ballykeel, we are investing over £500,000 with an external maintenance scheme, programmed to start in February 2017, encompassing 322 properties and 83 garages.

“In relation to the roofing schemes in Ballykeel 1 and Chichester Park, both of these projects are proceeding. Applications for planning permission and building control have been made. It is estimated this project will be on site in the spring of 2016.

“The local office in Ballymena will keep tenants advised prior to the start of all of these schemes and we will write to tenants nearer the proposed start dates,” the spokesperson added.