Minister speaks on Bogside homes sell-off

Residents took part in a protest in February over the transfer proposals.
Residents took part in a protest in February over the transfer proposals.

Social Development Minister Maurice Morrow has said there are no plans to sell-off more Housing Executive stock - at the moment.

Mr Morrow was responding after Derry City & Strabane District Council passed two motions in February opposing the sell-off of homes in the Bogside.

One of the motion tabled at the meeting stated that “Derry City and Strabane District Council call on the Department of Social Development Minister to stop the sale of Housing Executive homes in the Bogside and other areas to Housing Associations and that this Council is opposed to the dismantling and privatisation of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive by stealth.”

Mr Morrow said that to date only two “small-scale” transfers to Housing Associations have taken place- one in Bangor and one at Rinmore in Creggan. He said feedback from the Rinmore residents “has been very positive”.

He said the previous and currently proposed stock transfers were designed to “secure the investment required to improve the properties, that otherwise may not be available”.

He added : “However there are no plans at this point to extend this programme and no decisions have been taken about transferring stock in the future.”

Despite this the Minister claimed that stock transfer was “a tried and tested and successful means of delivering significant investment at a reduced cost to the public purse”.

He added: “It is of the utmost importance that it is the tenants who decide if their homes can be transferred.”