The Ulster Unionist Assembly Member for South Belfast, Michael McGimpsey MLA has called on the Social Development Minister to provide a solution to protect owner/occupiers of homes in negative equity following the vesting of land in redevelopment areas.
Michael spoke following a motion in the Assembly on Monday that brought the issue to the attention of Minister Alex Attwood:
“I am deeply concerned for people, especially in the Village area of South Belfast, who are put in a position of financial hardship after losing their home due to the vesting of land.”
“These folks are forced into negative equity and increasing debt through no fault of their own, without any legislation to compensate them. During this time of economic uncertainty it is extremely worrying that people should unduly suffer, without support and legislation to protect them from the Departments for Social Development and Finance and Personnel.”
“The Village area in particular, is an already highly deprived area of Belfast with the highest concentration of unfit housing in Northern Ireland with 33% of homes in this classification.”
“I would call on the Social Development Minister to protect these vulnerable people, through measures that will reduce their financial hardship and secure their wish to live in their local community.”