NIPSA’s Annual Delegate Conference which will take place between Wednesday 30th May and Friday 1st June 2018 in the Millennium Forum in Derry will debate an important motion on Housing.

In advance of the Conference, Paddy Mackel, NIPSA Official with responsibility for Housing matters said:

“For decades the issue of public housing, allocated solely on objective need by an impartial and publicly accountable housing authority in the form of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has served the whole community well.

NIPSA rejects attempts by previous Ministers and the Department to dismantle the Housing Executive including efforts to transfer its housing stock (people’s homes) to unaccountable and more expensive Housing Associations. NIPSA also totally rejects the growing focus on pushing social housing tenants into an unregulated private rental sector with no rent caps and no security of tenure.

Having already defeated proposals to transfer tenants in Ballyclare to a Housing Association, through a resounding vote by 93% of residents to remain with the NIHE, the Department unfortunately has insisted in trying the same thing again in Ballymena in the Ballee Estate. NIPSA is working closely with residents through the Resident Associations there to ensure that they have all the facts before the vote over the summer period.

NIPSA calls on all political parties to commit to retaining the NIHE, stop the stock transfer agenda and tackle the growing homelessness problem as well as increasing numbers in housing stress, currently standing at 20,000. It is time for political parties to publicly state their support for the existing arrangements and to work with others to remove the current restrictions on the right to borrow to enable the NIHE to build new homes and upgrade existing stock.”