03 Nov 2020

CIH welcomes minister’s announcement signalling substantial changes to housing policy in Northern Ireland

The Chartered Institute of Housing has welcomed the announcement by the minister for communities who today brought forward substantial plans set to reconstruct whole aspects of housing policy, not least promising to reform the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

The announcement comes with a backdrop of growing numbers falling into housing stress, inadequate housing supply and substandard housing stock. Plans to reclassify the Housing Executive’s landlord arm as a ‘mutual’ or co-operative, the Department’s commitment to a policy of mixed tenure and an increase in intermediate rental products contribute in part to the reset needed to address these longstanding issues.

Justin Cartwright, national director for Northern Ireland at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said:

“The minister’s plans to classify the Housing Executive’s landlord arm as a ‘mutual’ or co-operative is very welcome news. It would enable them to borrow and invest in homes that require repairs – all tenants deserve to live in decent homes. At the same time, it would enable tenants being involved in their housing service by their position as members.

“More mixed tenure developments through a fundamental housing supply strategy will be well received across communities. More social housing should be well integrated with private housing in the layout of new developments. This commitment goes straight to the heart of tackling stigma and building sustainable communities.

“As it stands there are significant gaps that mean the housing needs of many individuals and families are not being met – namely those locked out of the housing market and with insufficient priority for social housing. Therefore, we support the minister’s commitment to introduce ‘intermediate rented housing’ – new homes with rent levels set in between private and social housing. It is welcome that there will be no need to choose between social and intermediate housing in respect of capital investment, by maximising newer funding streams such as financial transactions capital for intermediate housing.”


For more information please contact Heather Wilson, CIH policy and engagement manager on heather.wilson@cih.org. 

Notes to editors:

1. 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.