HC Deb 08 December 1997 vol 302 cc425-6W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make it her policy to permit Miss Mildred McIlveen to purchase her Housing Executive flat at 24c Ardgeehan Gardens, Bangor; and if she will make a statement on long term residency and purchase rules. [18935]

Mr. Paul Murphy

The House Sales Scheme operated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive broadly mirrors the Right to Buy scheme operated by housing authorities in England and Wales. Its operation is a matter for the Executive's Chief Executive and it would be improper for me to intervene. The Chief Executive informs me that the period of residency in Executive or other social housing determines the percentage discount that a tenant may qualify for, against the valuation price of the house. The basic rules for purchase are that, with certain exceptions, tenants may purchase the dwelling they are living in. The exceptions are sheltered dwellings and those dwellings considered suitable for the elderly, the rationale being that there is constant demand for these properties and it is likely to increase. In the case of dwellings considered suitable for the elderly, such dwellings are single storey properties and ground floor accommodation with no more than two bedrooms and which have been let to, or are for, someone over age 60. Where a dwelling was let to someone over 60 at the time

Company name Divisional Planning Office
Belfast Craigavon Ballymena Downpatrick Omagh Londonderry
Cabletel 1(0) 0 0 0 0 0
Vodafone 0 1(1) 0 0 1(1) 0
Orange PCS 0 4(0) 11(7) 7(0) 9(4) 12(5)
Millennium Communications 0 1(1) 1(1) 0 2 0
Telecom Securior Radio 0 0 0 0 2(1) 0
Castle Transmission 0 0 0 0 2(1) 3(2)
Teleport (NI) Ltd. 0 0 2(1) 0 0 0
Others 5(2) 1(1) 2(2) 3(3) 1(1) 1(1)
Total 6(2) 7(3) 16(11) 10(3) 17(8) 16(8)
Figures refer to planning applications for all types of telecommunications equipment.
( ) Refer to numbers approved.

I do hope this is helpful.

when the tenancy began, the successor in title may not buy the dwelling. If, in very exceptional circumstances, a dwelling considered suitable for the elderly is let to someone less than age 60, the house is not exempted from the House Sales Scheme.

Chief Executive of the Housing Executive has advised me that there are no plans to change the House Sales Scheme as it applies to exempted properties.