Video: Rossville homes going nowhere without tenants' poll

Bogside homes won't be transferred out of Housing Executive ownership against tenants' wishes, Housing Minister Paul Givan has promised.

Saturday, 28th January 2017, 8:00 pm

Mr. Givan made the pledge after concerns were raised by former Foyle MLAs Eamonn McCann and Mark H. Durkan in the Assembly before it dissolved on Thursday.

The Minister confirmed the Housing Executive has undertaken to transfer 2,000 of its homes to housing associations in order to deliver a £100 million investment.

During the debate on Tuesday former SDLP MLA Mark H. Durkan specifically raised the mooted transfer of Housing Executive homes in the Bogside.

“What assurance will the Minister give to Northern Ireland Housing Executive tenants in, for example, the Rossville Street area of my constituency that ownership of their homes will not be transferred to a housing association against their wishes?” he asked.

The Minister promised that there would be no such transfers of housing stock and homes without the consent of residents.

“Any transfer of stock from the Housing Executive to a housing association requires the agreement of tenants. A ballot takes place,” said Mr. Givan.

“It would be the same, for example, if the Housing Executive, at any point in the future, decide that it would become a housing association or - the other option that needs to be looked at in terms of what other people have put forward - that Housing Executive stock could go to other housing associations.

“There has been some thinking around that aspect. For example, if the Housing Executive - to free it up or to allow it to borrow to build houses - was to become some kind of housing association model, and there are various ways to do that, the tenants would have to vote for that.

“That would include every single tenant that currently exists for the Housing Executive. If they did not agree to it, it could not happen.”