CIH calls for step change in housing delivery
Commenting on the latest Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin released today, Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) director for Northern Ireland, said: “We are continuing to see growth in the number of new homes - particularly in the private sector where there has been a 12 per cent yearly increase on new home starts. Housing associations are also performing well with the number of completed new homes up 31 per cent (282) on the same quarter last year. In total there were 1346 properties started during October to December 2015 an increase of 12 per cent for the same period in 2014.”
“The steady increase in the number of new homes is very encouraging but we desperately need to step up activity. Demand for housing in Northern Ireland far outstrips supply. We need more than 11,200 new homes every year, but are building on average around half that amount. With 22,000 households on the waiting list in housing stress, the gap between housing demand and supply widens and we can’t let that continue.
"Homelessness levels remain unacceptably high. During October-December 2015, 4646 households contacted the Housing Executive for homelessness assistance. Of these, 344 said they had no accommodation what so ever – this is 23 per cent more than last year which is a worrying trend.
"Housing supply is critical to economic recovery and the health our citizens. We need a step change in delivery of housing policy and recognition that education, health and job opportunities are underpinned by good quality, affordable housing. The new Stormont Executive must prioritise housing and homelessness in the next programme for government.”
To help meet the challenges, CIH in Northern Ireland has published its Agenda for Change which identifies the following five main areas for action:
- More good quality homes
- New social and affordable housing approaches
- Greater access to rented housing
- Shared and mixed housing
- Professional standards in private rentals.
Notes to editors: 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