NI political situation is hitting the level of new housebuilding
The number of new homes being started in Northern Ireland is being hit by the political impasse, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Northern Ireland.
CIH Northern Ireland was responding to new statistics released today by the Department for Communities. The department’s Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin shows the number of new dwellings commenced over July to September was 1,723. This is 15 per cent lower than the same quarter last year, and the lowest figure for the quarter since 2014.
Meanwhile the number of homes completed over this period grew four per cent, continuing a long term upward trend.
Nicola McCrudden, director for CIH Northern Ireland said: “The number of new homes being started is lower than expected, by a few hundred across the private and social sectors.
“The drop is happening against a long term upward trend in new homes being both started and completed – a trend which is welcome. However the quarter particularly stands out as an underperforming one.
“The political situation has meant that the current budget was confirmed late. The social housing development programme was also delayed and with it important policy decisions, which were needed to increase the level of housebuilding.
“This has undoubtedly impacted on the work of housing associations in particular.”
The housing bulletin also shows a rising number of people who are homeless and qualify for full assistance under the law.
Ms McCrudden said: “Levels of homelessness remain unacceptably high in Northern Ireland. This is partly due to existing accommodation no longer meeting the needs of growing numbers of people with complex needs.
“Our members want to get on with their jobs, building homes and providing support services to tenants and people who are homeless. They need certainty around budgets and public policy. It is time for our political parties to come together and deliver this to ensure that housing is provided for the people who need it.”
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH Northern Ireland policy and public affairs manager on 028 9077 8222, 07824 304 351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
1. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.2. The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin report from the Department for Communities is a quarterly bulletin containing information on new housing starts and completions, homelessness, the NI House Price Index and new house sales and prices. The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin July - September 2017 was released Tuesday 6 February.