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Good Relations Week: A note from Interim Chief Executive, Patrick Thompson

NIFHA celebrates Good Relations Week 2022

NIFHA is delighted to be supporting Good Relations Week 2022.

It will come as no surprise that we see housing as being central to the success of thriving communities here in Northern Ireland, and good relations within and between communities is critical to that. A home is an anchor point which impacts on education, work, and general health and well-being. Good housing helps build strong communities, and housing associations play a central role in ensuring that communities have the support and skills to flourish.

Housing has a fundamental role in post-conflict NI, strengthening community relations, and it is key to one of the signature NI Executive strategies to foster stronger bonds in our communities. Together: Building United Communities, or T:BUC as it is known, and more recently “Housing For All” developments see housing associations deliver shared housing right across Northern Ireland, and these new developments are leading the way in improving understanding, sharing knowledge and experience, and bringing people together.

They go far beyond the bricks and mortar of housing. Central to the new developments are good relations plans, which help new tenants and the wider surrounding community to work together on inclusive multicultural, intergenerational and cross community projects. They allow people to learn about and experience other cultures – not just the orange and green, but cultures from across the globe. From cultural parties to food experiences, and art, dance and many more events, these all play a part in breaking down barriers and removing misconceptions. Fundamentally, they are about showing everyone that there is no threat from other cultures, and that sharing can help build better understanding.

Housing associations are the facilitators and leaders in this work, so alongside the first class homes they provide, they make sure that the whole community has a place and role in ensuring the success of these new developments.

During Good Relations Week, NIFHA will be recognising some of the great work undertaken by our members and we will be celebrating the role that housing is playing to build a better future for all our citizens. Follow @NIFHA on twitter to find out more about the work housing associations do to build good relations and thriving communities.