Council Launches New Housing Need Action Plan

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Newry Mourne and Down District Council launched its new Housing Need Action Plan for the district on Wednesday 21 August, at its Monaghan Road offices.

The new plan, which outlines key actions that partner organisations are undertaking to address housing needs in the district, follows on from a major housing conference held earlier in the year which sought to identify ways of improving access to social housing.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council launched its new Housing Need Action Plan for the district on Wednesday 21 August. From left: Ailbhe Hickey, Head of Placeshaping-South Region, Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Comghal McQuillan, Southern Regional Manager, Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Councillor Charlie Casey, Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson; Liam Hannaway, Council Chief Executive; Catherine McInerney, Department for Communities; and Michael McQuiston, Senior Planner, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said: “I am delighted to be launching this new Action Plan and pleased that, through working in partnership, we have agreed a number of key priority actions that will address housing need in the district.

“We all are aware that there is a great need for social and affordable housing—it is increasing and affects all aspect of people’s lives. The lack of suitable quality housing is not only detrimental to the economy, it also has a real effect on people’s health and wellbeing—something that the Council takes very seriously.

“I hope that by implementing this action plan we can make a real difference to the residents of our district.”

As part of this new plan, a housing sub-group has been set up, with representation from Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Housing Associations and the community and voluntary sectors to focus on the agreed priorities and deliver the actions identified in the document. It is intended that the sub-group will report to the ‘Living Well Together’ Community Planning Partnership Board on its progress.

The key actions that will be progressed include identifying suitable land for housing, improving access to social and affordable housing and implementing the homelessness action plan. The Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) will also provide a 15-year framework to shape the provision of future housing development and to support the wider social and economic needs of the district.C