Council Backs Major Social Housing Conference

Newry Mourne and Down District Council has backed a proposal for a major housing needs conference to be held on Monday 25 February 2019 at the Canal Court Hotel & Spa, Newry.

The conference, which is supported by a wide range of Community Planning Partners, housing professionals and elected members, aims to identify ways in which the outcomes for those in need of social housing can be improved.

The event will review the scope and nature of housing need in the district. Current actions by responsible agencies will also be considered with the aim of working more closely together to identify solutions and to develop an action plan to address social and affordable housing requirements in Newry Mourne and Down. Recent reports have assessed the total social housing need for 2018-2023 to be around 2000 dwellings, with much of the need concentrated in Newry City, Newcastle, Bessbrook and Warrenpoint – areas where there are long waiting lists.

Council Chairman Cllr Mark Murnin has welcomed the housing conference taking place on Monday 25th January in Newry.

Identifying appropriate land, ensuring enough social housing is built, building appropriate housing for the changing needs of the district, which includes the increasing demand for single occupancy dwellings, and housing that meets the needs of vulnerable people, are some of the issues that need to be considered. More affordable housing is also required as house price growth is higher in Newry Mourne and Down than the average growth experienced across Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the conference are senior Council representative, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Department for Communities. Issues such as planning for long term needs, tackling homelessness and the poverty gap, social housing development, and accessible homes provision will be explored in more detail.

Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said: “I welcome this opportunity to come together with key stakeholders to hear the challenges facing those seeking to alleviate housing need and discussing how to tackle these issues collaboratively.

“The requirement for social and affordable housing is increasing and by working together with partners across the statutory, community/voluntary and private sectors we hope to come up with some solutions and a long term plan for the future. We recognise that one organisation cannot do it on their own, but jointly we can make a difference.”