Special NI Brexit deal ‘crucial’ – housing chief

Any Brexit deal must take account of Northern Ireland’s ‘unique circumstances’.

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Responding to reports that the EU wants a different Brexit deal for Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK, Ben Collins, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA), said: “It’s crucial that the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland are recognised in the Brexit deal.”

He added: “Housing is a fundamental need; everyone has the right to a safe and secure home. Housing is also a key economic driver for the construction industry.

“It’s essential that this can continue to operate on an all-island basis. Our member housing associations have built more than 49,000 quality, affordable homes in Northern Ireland. The sector employs nearly 3,000 people and manages assets worth £3.8bn.”

Referring to confirmation this week that European Investment Bank funding commitments will be honoured in Northern Ireland, he commented: “The recent funding from the EIB is very welcome and we would hope that these funding opportunities will also be maintained post-Brexit. NIFHA will continue to argue this case on behalf of the sector.”

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