NIHE managers told of opposition to office closures

Sinn F�in  Cllr Sorch� Mc Geown and MLA John O'Dowd who met senior management in the NIHE
Sinn F�in Cllr Sorch� Mc Geown and MLA John O'Dowd who met senior management in the NIHE

Sinn Féin reiterated its opposition to the closure of NI Housing Executive offices in Lurgan, Portadown and Banbridge at a meeting with senior management.

A Sinn Féin delegation met with senior Housing Executive management about proposals.

Speaking after the meeting John O’Dowd MLA said: “The Housing Executive propose to close a number of district housing offices including Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown with staff being transferred to Marlborough House in Craigavon and other regional offices.

“At our meeting we told the Housing Executive that we are very concerned about the implications of the proposed office closures for Executive tenants and staff.

“There needs to a genuine consultation with tenants, staff and elected representatives before any final decision is made. All alternatives must be explored with the objective of improving services for tenants.”

Cllr Sorchá Mc Geown who also attended the meeting said : “We told the Housing Executive they need to carry out a full Equality Impact assessment and rural needs assessment before any final decisions are made about the future of the local offices.

“Equality proofing and Rural needs need to be part of the decision making process and not an add on to the end of the process.

“The Housing Executive is a vital public service and cannot lose its personal interface with its tenants whether they be urban or rural.”