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Social housing need must not be overlooked

By Stephen McVey

A South Belfast MLA has called for an increase to the housing investment in South Belfast while welcoming the installation of new heating systems.Sinn Fein’s Alex Maskey has highlighted some of the projects that are underway in South Belfast. “There have been individual projects that have been identified such as the roofing of Annadale flats and the work that is being done in the Village area. What we want is to increase the budget that is available in the South Belfast area.”

Last year the Housing Executive invested over £100m in Belfast with £8.83m spent on purchasing homes and land to assist regeneration projects such as in The Village area of South Belfast

Alex Maskey is hoping that DSD does not overlook the needs of South Belfast residents when allocating funding in Belfast.

“There is a demand for social housing in South Belfast that perhaps doesn’t get the attention it deserves, as many of the applicants have turned to the private sector after losing patience with the social housing system.”

Mr Maskey also supports a move away from a dependence on oil heating in social housing.

“I welcome the news that new gas central heating systems have been installed in South Belfast, we had too many people who were reliant on oil. I, myself have just had a gas heating system installed, so I can vouch for its efficiency and value for money.”

The HE is installing brand new gas central heating systems in almost 100 homes in South Belfast at a cost of just under £600k.

South Belfast Housing executive Manager, Liam Kinney said the new systems will bring heating systems up to a higher standard.

“This work underpins the Housing Executive’s commitment to ensuring that all tenants’ homes continue to meet modern day standards and I’m delighted that a further 97 tenants in South Belfast will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of this when they get their new gas central heating system.”

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