10,000 without insulation

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A local MLA has raised concerns about the number of homes in the North West that do not have insulation.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney highlighted the issue after he received an answer to a written question from the Social Development Minister, Alex Attwood.

The minister’s answer revealed that almost 10,000 people in Derry and Strabane do not have wall insulation.

Mr McCartney said: “We have just come through one of the worst periods of weather in over a quarter of century. It became very apparent during that time talking to constituents that many were struggling to heat their homes and pay fuel costs.

“I was struck by the fact that many people I spoke to said that they didn’t have loft insulation, wall insulation in their homes.”

The Assemblyman said thousands of local people do not have proper insulation in their homes. “I submitted a question to the Minister for Social Development Alex Attwood on this issue and I received a reply this week to say that based on figures from a Home Energy Conservation 2009 condition survey, that in the Derry and Strabane area approximately 1300 homes have no loft insulation, 9500 have no wall insulation and 3400 have no double glazing,” he said.

Mr McCartney called for more to be done to help people heat and insulate their homes. “The Department of Social Development must act now to address these issues. We need to do more to tackle fuel poverty and we must make sure that there is adequate money going into the schemes that will make a difference in people lives to help eradicate fuel poverty. This requires a long-term strategic approach.”

“The current economic climate and the huge hikes in utility costs undoubtedly have increased the number of households who now find themselves in fuel poverty.

“As a result some of the most vulnerable in our society, will continue to experience fuel poverty.”