Northern Ireland’s long-awaited housing strategy must deliver more homes
Housing professionals in Northern Ireland may want to stop holding their breath. The long-awaited draft housing strategy is now expected in June - but it has been ‘expected’ for months and is yet to appear.
The housing situation in Northern Ireland is, as with many other parts of the UK, one of a mismatch between supply and demand. There are around 40,000 households on the housing waiting list - 20,000 of whom are in acute need - yet only half of the 2,500 social homes needed each year are being built.
Social development minister Nelson McCausland has taken a bold step in announcing the intention to overhaul building regulations to free up money for more new social homes.
This is similar to the move in England, where the zero carbon threshold was lowered. If Mr McCausland can ensure more new social homes are built which meet tenants’ needs, while adequately cutting carbon emissions and tackling fuel poverty, then the draft strategy may just be worth the wait.