Homes are a key foundation stone for society, as the quality of home has a significant impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of those who live within them. It is crucial that the Housing Executive is able to address its historic underinvestment and to ensure that its tenants can live in good quality homes over the long term.
“We agree that our region needs to build more social homes with a mixed tenure approach, to address the increasing numbers in housing stress. Housing Associations have been at the forefront of increasing the size and quality of social housing across Northern Ireland, and their ability to match the funding we receive from government with private finance, allows us to build twice as many homes as would otherwise be possible. Our members have regularly set out their ambition to build more homes, and forward thinking steps such as identification of surplus public sector land can help to achieve this.
“As the driver of new build social and affordable homes, we are particularly happy that the Minister’s commitment to increasing the budget and policy change to support new build. To implement all this work there will need to be a continued ability to set rents at an affordable level, to enable the housing sector to pay back borrowing and to invest in existing stock and tenant support.
“We will work with the Minister and the Housing Executive on the implementation of the allocations review. Reform must better facilitate delivering sustainable tenancies and balanced communities.
“The building of new homes is key to our region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, house building has long been an economic driver and this is an opportunity to support that. We look forward to working with Minister Ní Chuilín, her Department, the Housing Executive and the wider construction industry on delivering this.”
NIFHA (Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations) is the representative body of the 20 registered housing associations in Northern Ireland, which manage more than 53,000 homes.