Stormont Backs 'Negative Equity' Protection

Problems over 'negative equity' resulting from housing redevelopments in the south Belfast area have been successfully targeted for action by Sinn Fein.

The Stormont Department of Social Development (DSD) Committee member Carál Ní Chuilín welcoming the passing of a motion in the Assembly this week which sought to ensure protection for homeowners from negative equity.

The motion was debated in the Stormont Assembly about the vesting of land and was also backed by the Alliance party's Social Development Spokesperson Anna Lo who said it is essential that there is fairness for homeowners.

Anna Lo said: "Those affected could be left in serious debt to their bank and I believe that this is totally unfair. We need to look at how we ensure they get a genuinely fair deal.

"Also landlords are affected because they are losing out financially because of vesting. As the rental income from their properties can often be their livelihood they are also being put in an extremely difficult position too."

Now Ms Ní Chuilín has commented: "Fundamentally, the motion was about ensuring citizens rights are protected; both the motion and the subsequent amendment were carried during the debate and I welcome the support of the others parties today."

She said that the Stormont Assembly and Executive "must work to ensure that people living in areas up for redevelopment are not victimised as a result".

"We welcome and actively encourage the redevelopment and improvement of urban, often working class communities, but homeowners must be protected against falling into negative equity," the MLA continued.

"It is worth remembering at all times that it was not homeowners and those who would have been asked to suffer who are responsible for creating the current economic problems.

"Homeowners would appear to be unduly disadvantaged as a result of vesting and the Executive through DSD need to look innovatively and sympathetically at these people."


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