Press Release

Committee Examines New Housing Executive Review

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 30 June 2011

Reference: SD 03/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development today questioned PricewaterhouseCoopers, the authors of a major report on the first independent strategic review of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 40 years.

Committee Chairperson, Alex Maskey MLA said: “This Review is fundamental to the future of housing here, most importantly social housing provision. We believe that it is important to examine any proposals and make our views known to the Minister at the earliest opportunity.

“This is obviously a crucial report as it not only looks at current organisational issues in the housing sector, but also makes recommendations for improving the delivery of strategic, landlord and operational roles which currently reside within the Housing Executive.

“Many people in our local communities are dependent on the availability of social housing and we are keen to ensure that the recommendations in this report will be to the benefit of those people.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers is due to discuss their proposals in detail with all key stakeholders over the summer months and to take account of any views on the current proposals. We have asked PricewaterhouseCoopers and senior Departmental officials to return to the Committee in September to update us on this consultation process.

“We will be informing the Minister of our views and any concerns at this stage and will do all to ensure that the Report’s recommendations are scrutinised closely before any findings are put into effect.”

Notes to Editors:
  1. The Fundamental Review of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Other Housing Matters was initiated in October 2011 by the then Minister for Social Development Alex Atwood MLA and compiled by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers. The new Committee for Social Development took evidence from senior officials from the Department for Social Development at its meeting of 16 June 2011 on the background to and proposed way forward with the independent strategic Review of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
  2. The Housing Executive is a major employer in Northern Ireland with around 3,300 staff and it has a proven track record over the past forty years for improving social housing stock.
  3. On 11 October 2010, the then Minister, Alex Attwood announced to the Assembly that a review of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) was being commissioned. As the NIHE had been in existence for almost forty years, it was essential that this review was undertaken by personnel that had the required skills and knowledge of conducting large scale organisational reviews. A tender was issued to undertake this consultancy and was subsequently awarded to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) who were appointed late in December 2010 and began work in early January 2011.

Terms of Reference

“The Review will examine the housing and all functions of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in detail, providing a comprehensive assessment of their contribution to housing and other Departmental and Government policy objectives. This will take account of other organisational structures in the housing policy sector and make recommendations about remit, role and responsibility to achieve best results over the last three years. The Review will also examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s operations, including the appropriateness of existing structures. It will identify opportunities and make recommendations for improving performance and delivery of housing policy and objectives.”

The Committee for Social Development membership is:

Alex Maskey MLA (Chairperson)
Mickey Brady MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Gregory Campbell MLA, MP
Judith Cochrane MLA
Michael Copeland MLA
Sammy Douglas MLA
Mark H Durkan MLA
Alex Easton MLA
Pam Lewis MLA
Fra McCann MLA
David McClarty MLA

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