In a post earlier today on Slugger O'Toole, Mick Fealty said: 'Whatever the nature of the problems in housing provision, and it has to be said the local administration is certainly exposing more knotty problems than most departments, a revision of the purpose of public funded housing, its role within the wider economy, and the validity of current goals is long overdue.'
Mick has recognised that the Department for Social Development has 'exposed more knotty problems than most departments'. There is no point in trying to bury problems - get them addressed.
He then calls for 'a revision of the purpose of public funded housing, its role within the wider economy, and the validity of current goals' and says it 'is long overdue'. I agree that it is overdue and in fact I and my officians have been working on the production of a new housing strategy for Northern Ireland, one that is comprehensive and coherent. This will build on the current review of the Northern Ireland housing Executive, the registration of private landlords and the ongoing work with housing associations and it will cover a wide range of housing issues.
On several occasions I have mentioned that a new strategy will be forthcoming fairly soon and it is something that we need, especially in the context of welfare reform.