Derry Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley has called on the Department for Communities to ensure there are increased resources for any new Affordable Warmth scheme.
Cllr. McGinley said: “The Department for Communities has initiated a consultation which proposes a number of changes on how the Affordable Warmth scheme will be structured. An initial view of the proposals would suggest that the scheme will be more accessible to a greater number of people though we would be concerned at the suggestion that the income threshold for single people would be lowered.
Affordable warmth is a necessity for many households in the North West considering the lack of wealth in the area and there will be many individuals and families who would welcome the opportunity to avail of assistance to more efficiently and effectively heat their homes.
At present there is a significant waiting list within the council area for work to be carried out on properties which have been deemed eligible for the scheme but for which there are a lack of resources.
Sinn Féin will argue very strongly that any new scheme must be accompanied by a significant increase in funding which will allow the Council and the Housing Executive to assess far more properties and allow for the necessary work to then be carried out in a timely manner.
Any new scheme will bring increased demand and increased expectation and we should ensure there is no increased disappointment because the Department has not made available enough funding.”