Housebuilding growth eases pressure on Northern Ireland families
Commenting on the latest Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin released today, Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing director for Northern Ireland said: “Today’s statistics highlight the ongoing recovery of the private housebuilding industry.
“There continues to be a welcome improvement in the number of new homes completed, with 1750 new homes finished for the quarter – a 10 per cent increase on same quarter in the previous year. This growth is primarily being driven by the private sector, in particular speculative development, with 1473 units completed during this period. It’s also very positive to see 1760 new homes started by the social and private housing sectors – a 27 per cent increase. Lack of supply over the last decade has meant a good quality, affordable home has been out of reach for too many people.
“The steady growth in the number of new homes will hopefully help to ease pressure on rents and house prices. However we should not be complacent – we are still building fewer homes than we need. Constraints, such as blockages in the planning system and lack of access to suitable land, shouldn’t limit our ability to build the homes that people need. The lack of a local Assembly certainly doesn’t help the situation – homes are desperately needed both now and in the future, regardless of other issues dominating the political landscape.
“These latest statistics also show that fewer people are now homeless due to losing their rented accommodation, with lower levels of homelessness overall. This is welcome and we hope it continues.
“However, we are mindful that the impact of welfare reform has yet to hit local households. We have no guarantees, beyond 2020, about future funding of supplementary payments relating to the bedroom tax.
“We believe that whoever wins the general election should to take a step back and make sure that welfare policies are not obstructing housing policies in terms of making sure that people can access a decent home at a price they can afford.”
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH policy and public affairs manager on 028 9077 8222, 07824 304 351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
1. Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin 1 Oct – 31 Dec 2016 was published today, 9 May 2017.
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.