24th May 2012
Written Answer from the Minister for Social Development
Double-Glazing to Housing
Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster):
To ask the Minister for Social Development (i) why the fitting of
double-glazing to Housing Executive properties has been suspended; (ii) how
he came to this decision; and (iii) when the programme will recommence.
Minister for Social Development: The Housing Executive
initially advised me that the costs of the double glazing programme,
originally estimated at 48,000 homes, would be around £120m. As a result I
became concerned that the Housing Executive’s specification for the supply
and fitting of double glazing did not offer value for money and there may be
potential for significant savings to be made. I asked my officials to
research the specifications used as I was particularly concerned about the
requirement to remove and replaster around frames, which necessitates the
payment of redecoration grants and causes inconvenience to tenants and also
the specification for hinges and handles, as these are much higher than
industry standards for domestic properties.
I subsequently wrote to the Housing Executive’s Chief Executive asking him
to rigorously and urgently review the specification for double glazing. This
work will be completed before the Procurement Strategy is approved by the
Housing Executive Board at the end of June. As part of the Housing
Executive’s review I have agreed what category groups and schemes should now
proceed and I have asked the Housing Executive to urgently write to all
contractors to confirm the position.
While it is estimated that around 30,000 homes will be included in the
double glazing programme, and this will be completed in the current CSR
period, any delay will be as short as possible while the Housing Executive
carries out the review requested by me.