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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

CIH welcomes announcement of Belfast's first build-to-rent apartment block development


Plans for Belfast's first large-scale build-to-rent apartment block have been warmly welcomed by CIH, the independent voice of housing and the home of professional standards.

Build-for-let is a model encouraged by the UK government, aimed at increasing the supply of high quality homes available for rent in the private sector, where flats are built purely for private rent, with the building itself owned by a large investor.

With over 83,000 build-to-rent units completed or planned across the UK to date, this Academy Street development is hugely significant for Northern Ireland's private rental market, and one that has the potential to transform the way in which it operates.

Currently, around one in five of Northern Ireland's households live in the private rental market, with Belfast representing 45 per cent of all rental transactions across the entire region.

In addition, latest figures available from the Department for Communities show that, while there are more than 40,000 registered private landlords in Northern Ireland, almost 90 per cent of them own between just one and five properties.

As a result, the introduction of the rent-to-buy scheme to Belfast – which will for the first time see a single professional landlord own more than 100 flats – is a hugely important milestone in terms of professionalising the sector.

Commenting on this positive private rented sector development, Nicola McCrudden, CIH director for Northern Ireland, said: "Belfast currently has one of the lowest city centre populations in Europe – this development is a really important step in achieving Belfast City Council’s aim of significantly increasing the number of people living in the city centre area.

"In addition, almost three quarters of all private landlords in Northern Ireland own just one private rental property. Given the vast number of different private landlords operating in the market, there has always been a huge variation in standards when it comes to the private rented sector in Northern Ireland.

"For all these reasons, we strongly support this build-to-rent development, which will help to professionalise standards within the sector into the future. The longer term leases that will be offered to tenants will also help give much greater security of tenure. This will be hugely significant for those who are, and will continue to be, reliant on the private rental market for their housing needs."


For further information please contact: Justin Cartwright, CIH policy and public affairs manager on 028 9077 8222, 07824 304 351 or

Note 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 and growing membership of more than 22,000 people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.

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