Tower block residents told to highlight concerns

Sarah Harkness-Robinson from Supporting Communities (centre), with Housing Executive North Belfast Manager Malachy McKinney (left) and Andrew Twigg, Housing Executive Concierge Services Manager,
Sarah Harkness-Robinson from Supporting Communities (centre), with Housing Executive North Belfast Manager Malachy McKinney (left) and Andrew Twigg, Housing Executive Concierge Services Manager,

Residents in East Antrim’s Housing Executive’s tower blocks are being encouraged to speak out on issues of concern.

A survey will be carried out as part of a pilot project aimed at encouraging tenants to speak out on issues affecting high rise accommodation and a forum will be established with a representative from each of the province’s 33 tower blocks.

Clark Bailie, Chief Executive of the Housing Executive, said; “At present, there is no collective voice for high-rise residents which makes it difficult to facilitate effective engagement on major operational issues, or strategic policy matters.

“The recent Independent Reference Group report into tower block safety recommended that new ways are found to improve communications between the Housing Executive and residents and we are acting on this recommendation.

“This extends much further than the remit of fire safety, uppermost in everyone’s minds in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster – it will also look at all relevant issues to those living in towers here.”

Tower Block project co-ordinator Sarah Harkness-Robinson, from Supporting Communities, said: “I want to support the development of community representation in tower blocks where no representative body currently exists.

“We can also provide additional support to existing community groups based in tower blocks.”

For more information, or to get involved, contact Sarah via sarah@supportingcommunities.org or by calling 028 2564 5676.