Concerns raised over housing grants

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan pictured at Carnhill.

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan pictured at Carnhill.

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Local Sinn Fein MLAs are to raise concerns over changes to redecoration grants for social housing tenants which have forced some people to take out loans.

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson, Derry-Strabane Councillor, Tony Hassan has said his party will be raising the matter of grants for Housing Executive homes which are getting window or kitchen replacement schemes.

Mr Hassan was speaking after meeting Housing Executive representatives in Derry to obtain clarity on the current situation.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “There are hundreds of homes in the greater Shantallow area which currently are availing of the window or kitchen replacement schemes.

“People are glad that these schemes are taking place as some residents have been waiting over 20 years for this to happen. But a number have raised with me that currently there is no grants for works after window replacement schemes and only a small grant of £56 for kitchen schemes take place.”

Mr Hassan said that this was leaving people out of pocket.

He said: “People are being left with bills to get rooms redecorated. Some are having to go take out small loans to pay for this work. In Carnhill alone over 300 homes are currently getting work done, so you can see how many people this is affecting even in one area

“We are not asking for huge sums of money but a reasonable small grant to help complete the work and keep their homes to a modern standard. I will be asking our Assembly team to raise this with the Minister Mervyn Storey at the first available opportunity.”