Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Housing Executive ‘need to take action’ on squalid flats

Residents say they are being forced to live in 'squalid conditions'
Residents say they are being forced to live in 'squalid conditions'

Residents in Kilcooley have called on the Housing Executive to address the “squalid conditions” they are being forced to live in at Kilclief flats.

Mark Gordon, a spokesman for Kilcooley Community Forum, said the issues surrounding the flats have been “quite contentious” for some time.

“Residents had been told they would be moved out and then due to funding restrictions any proposed work was postponed. NIHE are carrying out a board paper for consideration before presenting their options to the Minister for Social Development (Margaret Ritchie) who will make the final decision about what should happen,” he said.

“One thought is the properties will be demolished and a Housing Association can build town houses. While these issues are debated and considered, current residents are left in the dark about what exactly will happen to them.”

North Down MLA Alex Easton has also called on Ms Ritchie to act over the condition of the flats in Kilcooley “which are in a desperate need of attention”.

Speaking after visiting the flats last week, the North Down MLA said: “I am calling upon the Minister for Social Development, Margaret Ritchie, to act over the terrible state of the Kilclief flats in Kilcooley.

“After visiting these homes with community representatives, I was appalled to see the terrible state of repair that they are in. Once again we see more housing in the North Down area in an appalling state of repair and the Minister is failing to act whilst people live in appalling living conditions.”

A spokesman for the Housing Executive said: “The Housing Executive is committed to tackling issues that make a real difference to people’s quality of life including the physical and social regeneration of local neighbourhoods.

“In recent years the flats at Kilclief Gardens have become unpopular and difficult to let because of ongoing incidents of anti-social behaviour.

“The Housing Executive is currently considering a range of options with regard to resolving the issues concerning these flats and, in consultation with the Department for Social Development, will seek to identify the best option for their future use.”

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