Nigel’s quest for new home is ‘ignored’

Nigel Quinn
Nigel Quinn

Nigel Quinn could write a medical encyclopedia on his many ailments - a heart complaint, lung problems, a series of damaged discs...

Such is the range of illnesses that he can no longer make it up the stairs in his terraced house off Thomas Street, which he shares with his daughter.

“I have to live downstairs and that means sleeping on the sofa, plus the discomfort of a dry toilet,” said Nigel (54), who used to be a sales rep. “The stairs are so narrow that they can’t accommodate a stair lift. I’m trapped on the ground floor of my own home.”

So far, all efforts to the NI Housing Executive to be re-housed, “either in a bungalow or an adapted house”, have failed.

“I’ve tried for three years, but the question of ‘can he manage the stairs?’ seems to be a to be a sticking point. I can’t manage them.”

Nigel’s doctor and various health agencies have written letters of support on his behalf, but to no avail.

This week an MRI scan at the Royal in Belfast revealed the damage to discs in Nigel’s neck and back.

“I’ll be facing an operation to save me from a wheelchair,” he said. “I’m in constant pain to the extent that painkillers no longer work satisfactorily and something will have to be done.”

A spokesperson for NIHE said, “An assessment of Mr Quinn’s circumstances has been carried out. He has been asked to provide additional information to support his application. To date this has not been received and we urge Mr Quinn to send this as soon as possible. The areas of choice requested are in high demand. We have advised Mr Quinn of the various options and will continue to work with him to help meet his housing need.”