CIH Northern Ireland urges government to address barriers to homebuilding
Commenting on the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin January – March 2016, released today, Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) director for Northern Ireland, said: “The latest figures give us some very welcome signs but we cannot be complacent – we still need to build more.
“It is good to see housing associations are continuing to perform well with 1,568 new homes started in 2015/161. This shows that the social housing sector is contributing significantly to the provision of new homes and has exceeded government’s target of 1,500 new homes – a target which has now been increased to 2,000 in 2016/17. Elsewhere a growth in the number of new homes is being supported by the gradual but ongoing recovery of the private sector. The number of new private homes completed increased by 23 per cent on the same quarter in 2015.
“This steady growth in the number of new homes is promising but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture and we are still not building anywhere near the level we need to.
“In 2015/16 there were 6,716 new homes started – we need to build over 11,000 homes every year just to keep up with population growth and household change. A lack of housing supply still risks putting a decent home out of reach for more and more people.
“Homelessness levels also remain unacceptably high with a slight increase in the number of households in 2015/16 who qualify for full assistance which now stands at 11,200.
“The new government must urgently implement the recommendations of the housing supply forum report to address planning constraints and the housing industry’s difficulties in accessing suitable land. We cannot let such constraints limit our progress in building the new homes we so desperately need.”
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH policy and public affairs manager on 028 9077 8222, 07824 304 351 or email@example.com.
1. The majority of social housing development programme new social housing dwelling starts in 2015/16 were new build (74 per cent). The rest were off-the-shelf, existing satisfactory purchase, rehabilitation and re-improvement.
2. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at: www.cih.org