Housing Executive outlines Newry Mourne and Down area Investment Plans.
Councillors from Newry Mourne and Down District Council have been briefed by the Housing Executive on its work in the district over the past year and its plans for the year ahead.
The Housing Executive has a statutory duty to report on the previous year’s performance and the following year’s programmes and plans. This report is the second annual update of the Housing Investment Plan 2019-23.
Housing Executive Chief Executive Grainia Long reflected on the unprecedented year, which saw the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and noted how the organisation had changed how it works to ensure customers were cared for.
She said: “Covid-19 presented huge challenges for us, as we moved staff out of offices to work at home, while lockdown restrictions and supply issues meant a backlog in tacking repairs and delays in much needed upgrade schemes on our estates.
“Despite this, and thanks to the dedication of our staff, we were able to continue to deliver services to tenants and communities to an extremely high level.
“£54.67m was invested in new-build accommodation in the district, which saw 398 housing starts getting underway, while housing completions for the year were 117, despite the pandemic.
“We provided £78,642 in grant funding to support local groups in the Newry Mourne and Down district, across several funding streams, including our Community Grants, Community Safety, Areas at Risk and Community Cohesion programmes.
“We also supported 792 people experiencing homelessness in the last year.”
Grainnia Long added: “Given the necessity to social distance the hostels in Newry Mourne and Down, this situation placed enormous pressure on temporary accommodation in the district and as we emerge from the pandemic, our reset plan, The Way Home, has been fully funded by the Department for Communities.
“I’d like to sincerely thank the Newry Mourne and Down councillors for their interest in our work and I very much look forward to engaging with them as we move away from the Covid pandemic in the year ahead.”
For more information, please click online at nihe.gov.uk
About Housing Investment Plans
The Housing Executive’s role in community planning is to represent the housing sector. Consequently, the Housing Investment Plan has been broadened to include a more holistic view of the housing sector.
In Newry, Mourne and Down:
- The housing waiting list has 2,976 applicants in housing stress at 31 March 2021. Single, older persons and small family households comprise 87% of the housing stress waiting list in the council area.
- 792 people were awarded homeless full duty status during 2020/21.
- 369 homes were allocated to waiting list applicants.
- Last year, the Housing Executive carried out the installation of new heating in 114 homes, kitchen replacements in 29 homes, Bathroom and Kitchen Rewiring in 195 homes, double glazing in 156 homes 5 special schemes and 714 received external maintenance.
- 576 new build units are onsite, with 532 planned to start in the three years 2021/24.
- We funded 59 supported housing accommodation based schemes.
- Replaced boilers in 172 properties.
- 15 NIHE properties sold to sitting tenants during 2020/21.
Northern Ireland context
Housing Executive policies and plans are developed in the context of:
- the Programme for Government Draft Outcomes Framework 2021,
- the New Decade New Approach deal 2020,
- the NICS Outcomes Delivery Plan 2018-19,
- the Social Housing Reform Programme, together with other regional documentation including:
- the Regional Development Strategy,
- Sustainable Development Strategy,
- Strategic Planning Policy Statement,
- Northern Ireland Housing Strategy (and action plans),
- and the emerging suite of new Local Development Plans.
- Funding of £162.5m is available for the Social Housing Development Programme to enable delivery of 1,900 new social housing starts and 1,400 new social housing completions, a crucial part of our spending plans with 43,971 applicants (March 2021) on the waiting list. The Housing Executive continues to work closely with DfC and housing associations to overcome any delivery risks associated with supply chain issues and increases in materials costs.
- In 2020/21, the Housing Executive facilitated the completion of 1,304 new homes, and started a further 2,403 through the Social Housing Development Programme.
- For 2020/21 expenditure for private sector grants was £11.71m and the budget for 2021/22 is £12m.
- NIHE made £11.5m available for energy efficiency measures in 2020/21 and have an approximate budget for 2021-24 of £78m.
- The Supporting People budget for 2021/22 of £72.8m will fund approximately 85 providers, to provide over 850 housing support services, to deliver housing related support to over 19,000 vulnerable people.