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Social Development

Welcome to the Home Page of the Committee for Social Development. The committee was established to advise and assist the Minister for Social Development on matters within his responsibility as a Minister. The committee undertakes a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the Department for Social Development and plays a key role in the consideration and development of legislation. The Committee Chairperson is Mr Alex Maskey MLA.

Here you will find information about the Committee membership and the work of the Committee. 


Latest News

The Committee for Social Development will hold its next meeting on Tuesday 16 February 2016 at 09.30am in Senate Chamber.

Forthcoming business will be published in the Business Diary.

Click here to view our Forward Work Programme.


Contact the Committee

Committee Clerk: Dr. Kevin Pelan

Room 430,Parliament Buildings,
Ballymiscaw,Stormont,
Belfast, BT4 3XX

Tel: (028) 9052 1864
Email: committee.socialdevelopment@niassembly.gov.uk


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Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project

Members of the Assembly Committee for Social Development pictured with representatives from the Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project, the Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The Committee recently visited the project to see some of the restoration and economic renewal initiatives which have transformed the local area.


Is housing really in crisis?

The Social Development Committee held a conference with the Chartered Institute of Housing. Chairperson Alex Maskey talks about the conference and some of the issues around housing.


ErasmusPlus Connections Project

Participants from the ErasmusPlus Connections project met with members of the Committee for Social Development to present their report and film on mental health.


Building Future Homes

Committee's joint event with Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).  R-L Committee for Social Development Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA, Dr. Jenny Muir Housing Policy Consultant, Nicola McCrudden Director for CIH Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, Donald Hoodless Chaiperson of NI Housing Executive, Fra McCann MLA and Terrie Alafat Chief Executive CIH.


Building Future Homes

Guest speakers - L-R Donald Hoodless Chaiperson of NI Housing Executive, Terrie Alafat Chief Executive CIH, Dr Jenny Muir Housing Policy Consultant, Alex Maskey MLA Chairperson Committee for Social Development and Michael Rafferty Group Finance Director Choice.


Committee members meet with young people from Speak Up project

Members of the Assembly Committee for Social Development meet with young people from the Speak UP project which gives opportunities to young people who have experienced homelessness to speak with decision makers and participate in service delivery. Today’s visit to Parliament Buildings is to mark Homelessness Awareness Week which runs from Saturday 28 November to Saturday 5 December. 


Licensing Bill

The Licensing Bill was formally introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 24 November 2015 and received its second reading on 7 December 2015. The Bill was then referred to the Committee for Social Development which has responsibility for the Committee Stage of the Bill.

The purpose of the Bill is to make provision for the granting of licenses to authorise the sale of intoxicating liquor at outdoor stadia.

Please note that the call for evidence closed on 31 December 2015.

Click here for more information on the Bill.


Houses in Multiple Occupations (HMO) Bill

The HMO Bill was formally introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 7 September 2015. Subject to approval by the Assembly at Second Stage the Bill will then be referred to the Committee for Social Development which has responsibility for the Committee Stage of the Bill.

The Committee's call for evidence closed on 6 October 2015.

Click here for further information on the Committee Stage of the Bill.


Committee Talks Housing With Private Tenants Forum

The Northern Ireland Assembly has been committed for some time to make Committee sittings more accessible to the public by having meetings outside Parliament buildings and in venues where local people and interested groups can attend. 

As part of this commitment, the Committee for Social Development recently held its meeting at the Housing Rights Service in Belfast, where agenda items included a briefing from the Social Security Agency on improving benefit uptake and from departmental officials on the Fundamental Review of Social Housing Allocations Policy. This particular review seeks to ensure that current ways to access the social housing waiting list and the allocation of social housing is fit for purpose. Find out more...


Working Together is the Key to Social Change

Around 180 representatives from the voluntary and community sector came together in the Stormont Hotel on Tuesday 2 October to talk about how the sector could work together to deliver social change.

Chairperson of the Assembly's Social Development Committee, Alex Maskey MLA was on hand to deliver a keynote address. Read more...


Social Development Committee Lays Foundations for Future of Housing

Local housing needs are changing. Many people have been affected by negative equity, falling incomes and the shortfall of suitable and affordable social housing.

The Assembly’s Social Development Committee which oversees the work of the Department and advises the Minister is determined to develop an inclusive and sustainable approach to local housing.

A housing event, organised by the Committee, heard from both groups and individuals working in the local housing sector. Their views will help to inform and set the agenda for the Committee’s continuing work on this important issue.


The Committee for Social Development visit Ballymena Town Hall

The Committee for Social Development pictured on a visit to Ballymena Town Hall where Members heard from Ballymena Borough Council Officials including the Lord Mayor P J McAvoy on the Council's work on Town Centre Regeneration. Pictured L-R are Committee Member Michael Copeland MLA, Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA, Committee Member Fra McCann MLA, Ballymena Lord Mayor PJ McAvoy, Committee Deputy Chairperson Micky Brady MLA and Cllr Maurice Mills, Chair of the Economic Growth & Development Committee, Ballymena Borough Council.

The Committee for Social Development pictured on a visit to Ballymena Town Hall where Members heard from Ballymena Borough Council Officials including the Lord Mayor P J McAvoy on the Council's work on Town Centre Regeneration. Pictured L-R are Committee Member Michael Copeland MLA, Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA, Committee Member Fra McCann MLA, Ballymena Lord Mayor PJ McAvoy, Committee Deputy Chairperson Micky Brady MLA and Cllr Maurice Mills, Chair of the Economic Growth & Development Committee, Ballymena Borough Council.


Committee for Social Development with the Social Security Advisory Committee

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development pictured with members of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).  Front Centre l-r Committee for Social Development Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA and SSAC Chairperson Paul Gray. The Committee received a briefing from the SSAC on its work on Welfare Reform and discussed a range of concerns regarding the potential impact of the Welfare Reform Bill on the vulnerable.

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development pictured with members of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).  Front Centre l-r Committee for Social Development Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA and SSAC Chairperson Paul Gray. The Committee received a briefing from the SSAC on its work on Welfare Reform and discussed a range of concerns regarding the potential impact of the Welfare Reform Bill on the vulnerable.


Inquiry into allegations arising from BBC NI 'Spotlight'

In a BBC NI Spotlight programme, which aired on 3 July 2013, allegations were made of wrongful political interference in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, potential breaches of the Ministerial Code of Conduct and misleading the Assembly and the Committee for Social Development.

The Minister appeared before the Committee on 4 July 2013 to respond to these allegations. At the start of the meeting the Committee agreed to hold an inquiry, subject to advice from the Assembly’s Legal Services about how that inquiry might be conducted, its terms of reference, scope and so on.

The Committee published its report on the 23 July 2014.

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