Survey into Derry’s damp housing

Moulded wall and ceiling painted over in one damp Derry house pictured earlier this year.
Moulded wall and ceiling painted over in one damp Derry house pictured earlier this year.

The Housing Executive has revealed that a major survey has been carried out across social housing areas of Derry with the worst damp problems.

The results of the survey are currently being examined, the Executive has confirmed.

The HE was responding after concerns were raised by Derry City & Strabane District Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue earlier this week over the issue.

Colr. Logue said that problems being experienced by social housing tenants in housing association and the Housing Executive properties.

She suggested the advice being handed out to tenants did not, in many cases, seem to be tackling the root causes. A HE spokesperson has responded: “Senior managers in the local office have met with Colr. Logue to discuss these issues with her on several occasions.

“We also attended a public meeting with residents and the councillor to discuss the issue of dampness.

“Investigations have been carried out to assess the cause of dampness when it occurs at our properties. On many occasions we have carried out extensive tests to determine the cause of dampness and have carried out remedial works to resolve the situation when these tests have indicated the cause of dampness.

“We have also commissioned a consultant to carry out extensive surveys of properties in a particular area that suffer from damp and that is now under consideration.”

The Housing Executive spokesperson added: “With regards to condensation, we will continue to advise tenants on methods of reducing condensation in their properties.”

Colr. Logue earlier this week called for a review of the way HE and the associations carry out assessments of damp problems.

Councillor Logue said: “I have been dealing with a number of families who have been affected by the problem of dampness in their homes.

“We all know the problems dampness can have on a home and the effects it can have on people’s health. The Housing Executive have been doing a lot of work to try and address this but the residents I have spoken to said it wasn’t working in the long run and there needed to be long term solution to this.

“Currently residents are given advice on how to ventilate their home, clean the spots with bleach and paint the ceilings with gloss paint.

“While I agree that proper ventilation does count, I am suggesting that Housing Executive and housing associations should be looking at the other underlying issue that may be causing the problems such as getting a roofer to carrying out an inspection of the tar felt under the eves which ultimately can be a cause of damp.”

Colr. Logue said she knew from personal experience the problem caused by dampness, having recently experienced issues in her own home of 33 years, which were resolved once the tar felt was replaced.