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DSD to be investigated over housing strategy

By Evan Short

Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland was put under more pressure last week when the Equality Commission announced they were to investigate the DSD over potential breaches of equality legislation.

The investigation is to centre on the DSD’s Housing Strategy 2012 – 2017 and “a number of associated proposals”, according to a Commission spokesman.

He said after weighing up the facts they found there may be a case to answer.

“After consideration by its Statutory Duties Investigation Committee, the Commission has decided that the Department’s actions in relation to the Housing Strategy, the Building Successful Communities Programme, and the Social Housing Reform Programme may have failed to comply with the undertakings in its approved Equality Scheme in respect of screening and impact assessment.

“This is not a determination of whether or not such a failure has in fact occurred – that will be decided following the Investigation,” he said.

The North Belfast News understands that building schemes in the north of the city will be at the centre of the probe.

A spokesman for the Department said they would cooperate with any investigation.

“The Department is aware that the Equality Commission NI is to conduct an investigation into a potential breach of Equality Scheme commitments in connection with the Housing Strategy 2012-17.

“We will of course co-operate fully with the investigation. The Equality Commission has not made a determination of whether or not the Department has failed to comply with its Equality Scheme.

“That will be decided by the Commission following its investigation. It would therefore be inappropriate for DSD to comment further at this stage.”


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