First clues revealed on housing strategy
Ministers in Northern Ireland have outlined the first indications of the assembly’s forthcoming housing strategy.
In a briefing to the Department for Social Development committee in Stormont last week, ministers said the housing strategy would contain four key themes: ensuring decent affordable homes across tenure, meeting housing needs for vulnerable people, using housing for regeneration, and improving the structures that underpin the housing market.
Ministers will look at ways housing associations can maximise borrowing against government funding and at funding allocation. They will also encourage landlords to collaborate on procurement.
They also plan to review Northern Ireland’s £60 million Supporting People programme, which provides housing-related support to vulnerable people, and put together a homelessness strategy.
The housing strategy, due to be published in the next couple of months, will contain plans to tackle anti-social behaviour and empty homes, and a ‘fundamental review’ of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
Cameron Watt, spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations, said: ‘NIFHA welcomes the department’s commitment to… look at new and innovative approaches to developing homes in very challenging market conditions.’