Housing body facing backlash over £14k - 32k Greenisland flat maintenance costs
An urgent meeting is sought with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to address Greenisland residents’ concerns over recently-issued maintenance fee requests.
East Antrim DUP MLA David Hilditch has called for discussions with senior management after the housing authority sent correspondence to over 20 owner-occupiers ahead of work commencing in Glassillan Grove and Rossmore Green.
With leaseholders facing bills between £14,000 and £32,000, Mr Hilditch has also tabled questions for the Department for Communities, which has responsibility for housing.
Mr Hilditch said: “Some residents have been paying their maintenance fee for years and never had any work done. One resident was quoted £7k and then got one for £16k. Things are tight enough for people at the moment.
“If it is a legal issue, something possibly could be done to ease the burden or initiate a grant system. That’s why we have contacted the minister.”
In a response to the concerns, a spokesperson for the NIHE said: “The Housing Executive has responsibility for maintaining the structure of it properties. Leaseholders who have purchased a flat or maisonette from us have an obligation to pay a charge to cover the services we provide, and any maintenance work that we deem necessary.
“The Housing Executive has a maintenance scheme to deal with water penetration in flat complexes in Greenisland. The scheme was drawn up following detailed surveys of each property. Of the 76 flats involved in the scheme in Greenisland, 21 leaseholders have been provided with a statement of estimated planned scheme costs for works due to be carried out to the building in which their sold flats are situated.
“Payment for works are invoiced to leaseholders once all works are completed. The estimated cost for each sold flat varies with each individual property, but range from £13,977 to £32,589 depending on the works required. These costs are advised at least one month prior to commencement of the scheme works to the blocks where sold flats are situated. Payment options can be discussed with individual leaseholders.”
Mr Hilditch added that he was also hearing it is a matter that could impact on other areas of Carrickfergus after his office posted a notice on social media asking: “Have you received a letter from the Housing Executive demanding excessive sums of money for building maintenance costs? David Hilditch MLA’s office in Carrickfergus has been dealing with numerous complaints on this issue over the past number of days and is taking actions to help.”