Housing Executive Sets Outs Its Stall To Council

Housing Executive outlines Newry Mourne and Down Investment Plans

Housing Executive outlines Newry Mourne and Down Investment Plans

Councillors from Newry Mourne and Down District Council have been briefed by the Housing Executive on work in the District over the past year and plans for the year ahead.

Housing Executive Chief Executive Grainia Long in presenting to the Council said: “We invested over £195m in 2021/22.

“This is the highest level of investment since 2007/08 and – for the first time in 20 years – we will soon commence building new homes for social rent via a pilot project.

“In Newry Mourne and Down, we invested £9.46m on planned maintenance including stock improvements last year, with a further £5.52m spent on response maintenance.

“Over the past two years, we’ve provided a wide range of assistance to tenants and communities, supporting them through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Housing Executive has made a presentation to Newry Mourne and Down. (Photo by Jim Masson).

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we continue to pro-actively engage with and support tenants who face additional ‘cost of living’ and lifestyle adjustment pressures.”

The Housing Executive, through the Supporting People programme, invested £6.21m to fund 70 Housing Support Services across the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area, providing housing support to 1,551 clients last year.

“Across the district, 749 people who presented as homeless were accepted for support last year.

“This A strategic shift in favour of homelessness prevention and early intervention is critical if we’re to provide a sustainable model of provision to prevent homelessness.

“£43k in grant funding was provided to support local groups in the district, across several funding streams, including our Community Grants, Community Safety and Community Cohesion programmes.”

Grainia Long added: “Our focus is working with partners to lever in funding to scale-up the implementation of energy efficiency measures, across all housing tenures, to effectively tackle climate change and reduce fuel poverty.

“We face a major housing challenge in every council area, with continuing demand for social housing and homelessness services.                                                            

“Last year, £4.99m was invested in new-build accommodation in the district, with 32 housing starts getting underway, 503 units on-site at March 2022, while housing completions for the year were 105.

“Waiting lists for social housing, as well as levels of homelessness, have risen significantly in recent years and show little sign of falling.

“Despite sustained levels of investment in new social housing across Northern Ireland, the gap between housing demand and supply continues to widen,” she said.

“Against a backdrop of rising waiting lists, the Housing Executive recognises the importance of continued partnership with councils and the housing sector and the need for sustained levels of funding for social housing to address rising levels of homelessness and growing waiting lists.

“The Minister for Communities’ programme for the revitalisation of the Housing Executive offers the key to a future that will deliver additional, more energy efficient and more appropriate homes.

“Housing has an economic, environmental and social mission and by working together as Community Planning Partners we’ve an opportunity – in this decade – to deliver positive and lasting change.

“I’d like to sincerely thank Newry, Mourne and Down District councillors for their interest in our work and I look forward to continuing to engage with them in the year ahead.”

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About Housing Investment Plans

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 third and final annual update of the Housing Investment Plan 2019 -23.

Community Planning

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 District:

  • The housing waiting list has 3,048 applicants in housing stress at 31 March 2022. Single, small families and older person households comprise 87% of the housing stress waiting list in the council area.
  • 1,077 people presented as homeless during 2021/22, 749 of whom were awarded homeless full duty status.
  • 386 homes were allocated to waiting list applicants.
  • Last year, the Housing Executive carried out the installation of new heating in 175 homes, new kitchens for 158 homes, Bathroom and Kitchen rewiring in 314 homes, 341 double glazing installations and 763 received external maintenance across the District.   
  • 503 new build units are onsite, with 501 planned to start in the next three years.
  • We funded 70 Supporting People services including 57 supported housing accommodation based schemes.
  • Replaced boilers in 197 properties.
  • 21 NIHE properties sold to sitting tenants during 2021/22.