Councillor McNamee was speaking after the full meeting of Belfast City Council on Monday night, July 2, as Councillors agreed to move forward with a proposal identifying ruinous and dilapidated properties.
Councillor McNamee said: “I initially called for this motion and am pleased to see Belfast City Council pushing forward with plans to tackle empty properties across the city.
“We also need to ensure a plan is in place to keep the project moving forward if difficulties arise identifying property owners. I will be speaking with building control as soon as possible to ensure this issue is addressed with the greatest urgency.”
“This issue has also received support at Assembly level and I am calling on Belfast City Council to make this issue a top priority and initiate a joint-up approach by hosting discussions with the Department of Social Development, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and other relevant bodies.
“The numbers seeking housing are continually growing to catastrophic levels and there is great potential to identify vacant buildings across the city. I want to see the council exploring the potential possibilities with the Housing Executive and other housing associations as soon as possible, to try and reduce the numbers of people currently suffering on housing waiting lists.”