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NIHE maintenance contract situation in Mid and East Antrim intolerable – Allister

Northern Ireland Housing Executive van with Jim Allister MLA inset.

TUV leader Jim Allister MLA has issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, 11th May, saying the current Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) maintenance contract situation in Mid and East Antrim "intolerable".


Mr Allister's comments come after he received a reply to a letter he sent to the Housing Executive on April 19th, outlining his concerns on the state of the organisation's contracts and the impact for the maintenance of tenant's homes in Mid & East Antrim.



The North Antrim MLA went on to enquire why the contract with maintenance service, Greenview, expired on 30 April 2023, but the new contract with CFM was not due to commence until 1 September 2023, effectively leaving no contractor in place to service the extensive housing stock.


in a response received from NIHE, chief executive Grainia Long said:


"The gap between the end date of the Greenview Mid & East Antrim contract and the commencement of the new service in September was the result of NIHE standing a down a number of procurements in December 2022. This was to facilitate changes within NI Public Procurement Policy.



"We sought to ensure service continuity by engaging with Greenview to extend the current arrangements until the end of August, with discussions taking place for some time. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement to extend to 31st August, with Greenview agreeing to continue to provide the service until 9th May 2023".


The chief executive went on to confirm that measures have been put in place to "ensure that all emergency and urgent repairs will be carried out".


The current situation has left NIHE tenants across the borough in position to have no regular or routine maintenance carried out within their homes until September at the earliest. Inevitably the situation also will have impacts upon housing stock turnaround as no contractor will be available to carry out change of tenancy checks and repairs when a tenant moves out of a property.


Commenting today on the "intolerable" situation, Mr Allister said:


“Unfortunately for NIHE tenants within Mid and East Antrim, they have found themselves in the position where there is now a 4-month gap between the maintenance contracts which means that only urgent and emergency repairs will be carried out prior to September. This is an issue I raised with the Housing Executive last month.

 

“The situation is of the NIHE’s making and is intolerable as it will leave many of my constituents that need repairs having to wait months on them being completed. 

 


“This will create a significant backlog in repairs across the Mid and East Antrim area but more concerning, it will result in any housing stock that has been handed back in need of repair sitting vacant until after the new contractor starts in September. 

 

“When many constituents have been waiting years on being offered suitable accommodation this news will come as another devastating blow to getting offered a house in the near future.”

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