Press Release

Committee Event Lays Foundations for Future of Housing

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 11 April 2013

Reference: SD 02/12/13

Members of the Assembly Committee for Social Development met today with stakeholders from across the local housing sector to discuss the key issues surrounding the future of local housing.

The event, held at the La Mon House Hotel, Belfast signalled the beginning of an important engagement process with housing providers as well as voluntary sector and tenant representatives and underlined the Committees' pledge to support the housing needs of local people.

Speaking after the event, Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey said: "The local housing sector is changing rapidly, particularly in light of the recent Ministerial review of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the conclusion of the consultation on the new Housing Strategy. Today's event was an important opportunity for Committee members to engage directly with those working at the heart of local housing and to identify the key issues and concerns within the sector as a whole.

"My Committee has placed a great deal of emphasis on the need to develop an all-encompassing housing strategy which will sustain for the long term, affordable social housing for all those in need of a home. We also want to ensure that this strategy will create a fully regulated private rented sector in order to raise housing standards and which will establish rights and responsibilities for both tenant and landlord.

"We are determined to work towards this in a strategic and meaningful way. Through our dialogue with key stakeholders, we intend to produce a work programme on housing that is inclusive, informed by experts and as comprehensive as possible."

Mr Maskey concluded: "This event has been an important first step in the Committee's consideration of local housing issues. Based on the information gathered today, we hope to organise similar engagement sessions which could lead to Committee - led inquiries into specific housing issues.

"We are committed to working with the Minister, the Department and key players within the housing sector to ensure that together, we can lay the foundations for a more equitable and sustainable approach to housing."

ENDS

The Committee for Social Development held an important Housing Strategy event on Thursday 11 April in the La Mon Hotel, Belfast. The event brought together a number of key stakeholders from across the housing sector to discuss current issues within housing. Pictured from L-r are: Chairperson of the Social Development Committee Alex Maskey MLA, Ricky Rowledge Director of the Council for the Homeless (NI), Committee Member Fra McCann MLA, Nicola McCrudden Housing Policy/Communications Manager Housing Rights Service, Ian Elliott Chairperson Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations, Jan Branch Private Tenant's Forum, Tracey McKeating Private Tenant's Forum, Committee Member Mark H Durkan MLA, Committee Deputy Chairperson Mickey Brady MLA and Committee Member Michael Copeland MLA.

Mickey Brady MLA pictured at a recent Committee for Social Development Housing Strategy event which brought together a number of key stakeholders from across the local housing sector to discuss current issues within housing.


Notes to Editors:

 The event was attended by representatives from 38 organisations within the local housing, advice and voluntary sectors.

The DSD consultation document, Facing the Future: Housing Strategy for Northern Ireland can be read in full via the following link  http://nia1.me/1ep

 

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