Bradley: ‘Destroying NIHE disastrous for thousands’

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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley has said that the destruction of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive is a disastrous move which will affect thousands of people and put a question mark over the principles which underpinned NIHE. The Newry and Armagh MLA was speaking before the Assembly reconvened from its Christmas break. He said, “All my life and for some years beforehand, the Housing Executive stood as the mainstay of ensuring housing allocation based on need and not on creed. The principles which underpinned its foundation were both noble and necessary, as much now as in 1971. “It is not a perfect organisation – there were and remain improvements which need to be made to ensure its effectiveness and efficiency and it was that, which my colleagues Margaret Ritchie and Alex Attwood had in mind when they examined the need for a review. “Minister McCausland its destruction in his sights,” Bradley continued. “However, his decision to axe the Executive is disastrous for thousands and, in tandem with his shameful actions in relation to Girdwood last year, raises many questions about the Minister’s commitment to housing allocated on the basis of proven need. “As of Friday afternoon, the Minister was also refusing to give an oral statement to the Assembly in addition to his written statement of last week, flying in the face of specific advice from the Speaker that he should appear in person to face MLAs on the topic. The SDLP see his actions as  cowardly in the extreme. He added, “We have tabled an urgent oral question for the Minister which we are hopeful of being selected if the Minister refuses to come before the house of his own volition. “Those in need of social housing deserve nothing less than an efficient, effective, well-managed housing authority which will protect them from inequality. The Minister should be helping NIHE to improve, not implode.”
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