Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and member of the Stormont Agriculture and Culture Committees, has urged constituents to check if they are eligible for the Boiler Replacement Scheme.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also North Antrim UUP Chairman and Party Chief Whip, issued his call after the Stormont Social Development Minister announced how the new scheme would operate from September.
Welcoming the boiler scheme developments, Assemblyman Swann said: “I am exceptionally pleased that after the success of the Pilot Boiler Replacement Scheme which was completed in March 2012, the Minister for Social Development has announced a new Boiler Replacement Scheme which will commence in September 2012.
“Although the scheme will not be operational until September, it is equally essential constituents know useful information about their eligibility for the scheme, and I have also written to constituents about this very worthwhile scheme.
“The scheme, which will be administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Grants Offices, is aimed at owner occupiers who may not normally be eligible for assistance from government schemes.
“The Scheme will be open to owner occupiers who, together with their partner, have a gross household income of less than £40,000 per year. Total income will be calculated on the basis of both earned/unearned income and income from benefits received by the owner occupier and his/her partner.
“It is vitally important that constituents consider the eligibility criteria for the new Boiler Replacement Scheme.
“They are: the existing boiler must be at least 15 years old; applicants should be owner occupiers or ‘Have their day in the house’; the total gross income of the householder and partner must be less than £40,000.
“Earlier in this Assembly session, I asked the Executive minister if he could detail how many boilers he expected to have replaced at this point in time, and was he content with the current progress?
“In his response to me, the minister said he estimated that the total amount of money would have assisted 1,300 households. The most recent figure he had was that there have been 500 successful applications. By the end of the year, he hoped that we will be well up towards our target.
“As party energy spokesman, I fully intend to ensure I keep the minister to his schedule for the benefit of constituents. For many people, having their boiler replaced as soon as possible could well be the difference between deciding to keep warm or deciding to eat,” said Assemblyman Swann.
For Further information:
Those who think they may be eligible can call now on 0300 200 7874 to find out more and check if they can apply on 0300 200 7874 or http://www.nidirect.gov.uk