As our newly elected political representatives get down to the business of creating a Programme for Government, we'd like to highlight some of the urgent issues facing the housing sector in Northern Ireland.
Earlier this year, we provided all of the major parties with our Policy Manifesto outlining the key challenges as we see them for the coming term.
The contents come from our experience promoting and supporting tenant participation in Northern Ireland for well over three decades; the challenges also reflect the hopes and aspirations for public and social housing in the province expressed by tenants’ and community representatives at all levels of the Housing Community Network.
Our Key Manifesto Challenges for the Programme for Government are:
Create fair and timely regulatory standards for Tenant Participation for all social landlords.
Commit to supporting a resourced NI wide Independent Body to support Social Housing Providers to meet the requirements of the Tenant Participation Strategy.
Ensure that Social Housing providers are given the flexibility to access the funds required to improve stock and continue to develop properties to meet the ever-increasing demand for housing.
Safeguard investment in improving social housing stock.
Ensure that Social Housing remains the affordable tenure of choice.
Provide an undertaking that the Private Rented Sector is appropriately regulated.
The Central Housing Forum which is part of the Housing Community Network, the Housing Executive's customer engagement structure, has also largely adapted our key messages. The Housing Community Network is comprised of approximately 400 community groups across NI as well as representative tenant involvement panels in each of the Housing Executive Areas of housing management. You can read their document here.