Rossville Street social housing stock transfer has been suspended

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The proposed transfer of several Bogside homes from the Housing Executive to local housing associations, has been suspended allowing for a moratorium on maintenance work to be lifted.

Mr. Eddie Doherty, NIHE West Area Manager, confirmed this week that the properties in Rossville Street will now be placed back on the housing agency’s works programme.

The development has been hailed by local political represenatives.

Independent Councillor, Gary Donnelly, said: “This is excellent news for Bogside residents who were facing the potential sell off of their Housing Executive homes.

“This means that NIHE can now lift the moratorium on planned maintenance work carried out to these properties.”

Sinn Féin Councillor, Patricia Logue, said: “When this was first announced a number of years ago residents feared the proposals to transfer hundreds of homes in the council area to housing associations would have an impact on tenancy agreements, rents and repairs.

“And the subsequent impact it would have on the future workings of Housing Executive locally in terms of staffing levels and service provision.

“It’s also good news that moratorium on planned maintenance work has also been lifted.”

In a letter to tenants, Mr. Doherty, explained that Rossville Street had been part of a wider stock transfer programme announced in 2016 that has now been suspended after failing to win support from tenants.

“At that time, Rossville was part of a larger stock transfer programme which aimed to transfer some 2,000 Housing Executive dwellings to housing associations in order that major improvement work could be funded and carried out,” he wrote.

He explained that two tenant ballots in other areas proposed for stock transfer - one in Ballyclare and one in Ballymena - had come out overwhelmingly in favour of remaining as tenants of the Housing Executive.

This prompted the Department for Communities to suspended the Rossville Street stock transfer pending the appointment of a new Minister.

Mr. Doherty said the suspension means maintenance can now be carried out by the NIHE.

“The Department has also permitted the Housing Executive to re-instate stock transfer estates into our investment programme. We will be in touch with you again with details of any planned schemes involving your property as and when these arise,” he stated.