Time for innovation in affordable housing

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 21 October 2010

Reference: SD 01/10/11

Investing in social and affordable housing is a key target for NI Executive’s current Programme for Government. Some stakeholders have voiced fears that the recent Westminster announcement on the Comprehensive Spending Review could have a significant impact on future plans for investment in housing.

The Chairperson of the influential Social Development Committee, Simon Hamilton MLA said: “I think most people expect that we won’t have as much money as we would like for social and affordable housing. It is therefore time for politicians and stakeholders to look at the options for alternative investment in new homes for all our people – particularly those who can not afford to be owner occupiers. The experience of other jurisdictions is crucial in developing Northern Ireland’s future housing strategy.”

Mr Hamilton was speaking at a seminar organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Northern Ireland Assembly at which experienced housing policy professionals exchanged ideas and made recommendations for new investment proposals.

Mr Hamilton continued:

“This seminar comes at an important juncture for housing in Northern Ireland. The Committee expects the Department to listen carefully to the views of stakeholders and to undertake robust scrutiny of the range of policy options for enhancing investment in social and affordable housing.”

The seminar included contributors from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland who advised on innovative ways to increase capital investment in housing and policies to make better use of existing investment resources.

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