SDLP Social Justice Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has warned that the re-tendering of planned maintenance contracts will cause delays and affect thousands of Housing Executive tenants across the North.
This follows a letter from Housing Executive Chief Executive Grainia Long which MLAs received this afternoon.
The letter states that “the construction industry is suffering from severe inflationary pressures caused by rising material and fuel costs as well as labour and skills shortages”.
It also says the Housing Executive has "reached an agreement with ten contractors to release them from planned maintenance contracts as a result of escalating construction costs".
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“The Chief Executive has said that this re-tendering process could mean delays of up to a year to planned maintenance in 3600 homes across the North. My office already gets calls every day of the week from tenants who have trouble getting repairs, and this will make matters even worse with winter around the corner.
“It is clear that the Procurement Advice Note (PAN) put in place by the Finance Minister to allow contract values to increase because of cost pressures in the construction industry has not been sufficient in this case.
“The Minister and his department needs to look again to see what other support can be given where PAN guidance isn’t enough. We are talking about much needed repairs to people’s homes, including the elderly and those with disabilities and additional needs. This work is needed now, not in a years’ time."