PBP MLA Gerry Carroll issues warning over content of a Department for Communities consultation on 'A Fundamental Review of Social Housing Allocations'. Speaking after submitting an official response to the consultation, Gerry said:
'If this consultation sheds light on the future direction of the Housing Executive, then people have a lot to be worried about.'
'Extremely worrying is the suggestion that intimidation points should be removed. Recent research suggests that there's no verifiable evidence of intimidation points being abused. Moreover, the recent happenings in Cantrell Close whereby families were threatened and forced to leave their homes, should be proof enough that intimidation points are a necessary part of the points system.'
'I am also very concerned by the suggestion that 'reasonable' housing offers should be reduced from 3 to 2. A tenant should decide what home is 'reasonable' for them, not the Housing Executive. Removing options for already vulnerable people is demeaning and more of an exercise in management than anything else.'
'There can be little doubt that improvement is needed within the NIHE and the points system specifically. But that improvement should come from a place of empathy and putting people first - that is not what is on offer in this consultation.'
'The most important thing now is a push for building more NIHE homes. The excess demand on social housing needs to be addressed through increasing the supply of social housing, not by reducing the rights of existing social housing tenants.'
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