The Springfarm estate in Antrim has been chosen as a pilot set up to find a solution to insulation issues in ‘No Fines’ housing.
‘No Fines’ properties are older houses built with single skinned pre cast concrete walls, without a cavity.
Housing Minister Nelson McCausland made the announcement during a visit to several ‘No fines’ properties in the estate on Thursday, where he met with members of the S-IMPLER partnership which is a new initiative designed to achieve effective and economical retro insulation of solid wall homes.
“The problem of ‘No Fines’ properties is not only a major issue locally an estimated 5,600 such houses built in the province and there are also over 300,000 such cases in Great Britain,” Mr McCausland said.
He added: “At a time when home heating costs are at an all time high, these notoriously hard to heat homes present a major challenge not only for their tenants and their families but also place an onus on government to tackle this blight.
“I am committed to finding a cost-effective solution to this problem and some initial pilot study work has already been done in the Coleraine area. In working with the Housing Executive the S-IMPLER partnership will take forward this innovative pilot in seven affected homes in the Springfarm area of Antrim.
“The pilot will assess a number of potential methods to insulate such houses and is due to report back next June with their findings and, I look forward to their final recommendations.
“Although the pilot will take several months it is imperative that we get it right, if successful our pilot has the potential to resolve this problem across the UK. No one should have to live in sub standard accommodation and one of my key priorities as Housing Minister is to improve the local housing stock to significantly improve thermal comfort for tenants and their families, as well as to help address the issue of fuel poverty.”