Talks on future of vacant flats at Mount Zion House

Mount Zion at Edward Street. LM2309-187gc
Mount Zion at Edward Street. LM2309-187gc

Calls for a concerted effort to tackle social housing problems have been made after it was revealed more than 30 flats in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas are laying idle.

Local MLA Stephen Moutray discovered that there are over 30 vacant flats in Westacres Estate, Mount Zion and Armagh House in Portadown in an Assembly question to Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey.

Mr Moutray said, “I asked the Minister to outline the measures being taken to bring vacant, unused social housing back into use in Upper Bann following a number of conversations with the local Housing Executive concerning the increasing waiting lists, and the lack of turnover in housing for people presenting themselves as homeless.

“I believe there needs to be a concerted effort by Government to tackle this problem and this means looking at the current portfolio of social housing and ensuring that it is put to good use.”

“I am currently working with the Department concerning Mount Zion’s usage and will be continuing to work with officials to ensure that the flats are developed to suit the needs of the area. It is a known fact that there is a shortage of housing for vulnerable and homeless people and therefore it is essential that investments are made to bring them to a suitable standard. Thirty spaces would alleviate some of the problems and would allow for vulnerable people to be placed in a housing setting that is suited to their needs.”