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WP Statement Condemning the Abolition of the NI Housing Executive January 10, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Workers' Party.

Just before the statement, to record my own disgust at this decision by the DUP’s Nelson McCausland. The NIHE was founded in response to the need to end discrimination in housing, and has played a vital role since its inception in ensuring access to quality public sector housing. At a time when the failure of the private sector and the neo-liberal model of housing provision has never been more obvious, this is a perverse decision, one clearly ideologically-driven, and designed to lessen the role of the state in the economy. It is utterly regressive.

WP Statement

“This is a bad day for public sector housing and those on the housing waiting list in Northern Ireland”, Workers Party spokesperson John Lowry has said.

Reacting to the announcement by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland to abandon Northern Ireland Housing Executive as a state provider of housing, Mr Lowry said,

“This is a dangerous and backward step. Experience has shown that the private sector and housing associations have failed to meet urgent housing need and where they are providers of housing they charge increasingly unaffordable rents”.

The Workers Party will be looking very closely at the detail of these proposals in relation to the future provision of housing in Northern Ireland.


“I would like to place on record my Party’s appreciation of the work undertaken by the NIHE in the past 40 years, during which time they transformed both the delivery and quality of housing in Northern Ireland” said Mr Lowry.

“For the past number of years there has been a steady erosion of the central role of the NIHE and today’s announcement marks the final move to towards handing responsibility for housing provision to the private sector.

“Profit and private greed not housing need will the hallmark of any new service. Those thousands of people in housing need will find little comfort in today’s announcement” he concluded.


1. Dublin Irsp - January 11, 2013

Privatization of the Housing Executive must be opposed, IRSP.

The recent announcement by Stormont’s Department for Social Development (DSD) that the Housing Executive is to be essentially privatized is a damming indictment on Stormont and its willingness to impose right wing socio- economic policies on the working class.

The private sector is not the answer to the housing crisis in the North .The more involved the private sector becomes with the social housing stock the more unaccountable landlords will become to their tenants.

The NIHE currently employs 2800 public sector workers; it has a social housing stock of 90000 homes and is an essential part of society north of the border the decision by the Department for Social Development to abolish the NIHE exposes the contradictions in the Stormont establishment. At a time when 38,120 are on the waiting list for social housing the establishment is set to abolish the vehicle that delivers this public service. Instead of investing in the NIHE Stormont is effectively washing its hands of the housing needs of the people.

The conditions do not exist to abolish the NIHE, sectarianism is still rampant and on the rise. There now are more “peace walls” dividing the Nationalist and Unionist working class areas of Belfast than at any time in the past. With the rise of sectarianism the IRSP believe it is a foolish move to abolish the entity that delivers housing on a secular basis.

The IRSP fear the NIHE workers may end up jobless in the stripping bare of essential public services. Alison Millar of NIPSA has called for clarity on the issue; she said “”There’s absolutely no reference in the ministerial statement that would allay the fears of the staff, the 2,800 staff currently employed by the Housing Executive,”. The IRSP support calls from NIPSA for clarity on the future of these jobs and calls on Trades Councils across the north to mobilize, along with all other progressive forces, in opposition to Stormonts plan to abolish the NIHE.


2. MINISTER’S GIRDWOOD DECISION ‘ MOTIVATED BY SECTARIANISM ‘ ! « seachranaidhe1 - February 17, 2013

[…] WP Statement Condemning the Abolition of the NI Housing Executive (cedarlounge.wordpress.com) […]


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