People ‘living in misery’ due to mould in rental properties

An unacceptable number of people are “living in misery” due to damp and mouldy housing stock, the Northern Ireland Assembly has heard.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 6:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 6:56 pm
DUP MLA Alex Easton. 
Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
DUP MLA Alex Easton. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Calling on MLAs to demand an urgent improvement to those NI Housing Executive (NIHE) properties with damp problems, North Down DUP MLA Alex Easton said the Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey must “take firm action”.

Mr Easton said damp and mould are damaging people’s health and wellbeing.

“People across Northern Ireland are living in misery caused by damp and mould within their homes. The majority of these are rented from landlords, in particular the Northern Ireland Housing Executive,” he said.

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“This is a chronic and ongoing problem blighting the lives of thousands of people across Northern Ireland.

“A few years ago the then Minister for Communities revealed to me that over 25,000 cases of damp had been reported to the Housing Executive over a four year period.

“Those figures are both staggering and entirely unacceptable.”

Mr Easton added: “Someone’s home should be their refuge, but many people are left embarrassed by their living conditions, whilst many others have their health impacted.

“Nearly one in five people in Northern Ireland are affected by lung conditions, with damp and mould being key triggers for asthma attacks.

“The Assembly is debating climate change legislation that will set targets for energy efficiency.

“As Northern Ireland’s biggest landlord, NIHE should be leading the way on this and action must be taken on cavity wall insulation in its properties.”

The motion was passed unanimously by MLAs in the chamber.