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East Belfast MLA Raises Issues Regarding Tower Block Demolition Plans

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A DUP MLA has highlighted the concerns of tenants affected by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's proposal to demolish 33 tower blocks.

East Belfast's Robin Newton has underlined the need for suitable housing to be offered to the 3,000 residents of the high-rise buildings covered by the proposals.

The NIHE has expressed the possibility of demolishing some of Northern Ireland’s 33 tower blocks over the next 20 years. The housing blocks, which would cost over £300 million to modernise, hold 1,931 flats, 281 of which are privately owned. 

The affected accommodation is home to around 3,000 residents.

Consultations with the owners and tenants of these flats are now taking place to discuss their rehousing needs.

Mr Newton said: "Given the scale of the problem there is a great need to address the matter in a way that will give tenants and current owner occupants confidence that their future housing needs will be met.

"It is estimated that there are currently over 10,000 individuals and families waiting for a home on the housing list in Northern Ireland. With the Housing Executive hoping to deliver around 2,000 housing units within the next year this leaves a large shortfall. 

"If the plans to demolish the tower blocks in and around Greater Belfast were to go ahead the Housing Executive would need to take a serious look at ensuring that the residents of the tower blocks will be provided with suitable and comfortable housing."

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