New developments in Northern Ireland should not just be social housing, but should contain a mix of tenures, according to new CIH report.
Today’s report, the result of research principally sponsored by the Department for Communities, recommends councils help to create these mixed-tenure developments through the planning system.
This report follows on from a draft paper released by Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations earlier this year, which also called for mixed tenure developments.
Terrie Alafat CBE, CIH chief executive, said: “The way social housing is broadly delivered in Northern Ireland has not changed much over the past 20 years. Meanwhile there have been major changes in the public and financial environment, such as welfare reform.
“Our project was launched with this in mind, to help make sure social housing is the best it can be going forward. 230 people participated in this research and we were constantly told about the value of social housing in helping to tackle the record levels of housing stress, as those in housing need is at a record high.
“However we were also challenged on areas where change is required, such as the desire for more mixed-tenure developments.
“We are pleased to see that Belfast City Council’s draft plan strategy supports mixed-tenure and we would urge other councils to adopt similar measures.”
The report also recommends:
- New affordable housing options are developed for lower-income people who are paying high market rents
- The house sales scheme – where tenants can buy their social home – is ended to protect social housing supply
Paul Price, director of social housing policy and oversight, Department for Communities said: “The department is grateful to the Chartered Institute of Housing for taking this project forward. We will consider the findings and recommendations.
“They will help us advise ministers on the future of social housing in Northern Ireland.
“We are committed to taking forward responsive housing solutions, to work in partnership with a wide range of housing professionals and to find innovative ways to future proof social housing for generations to come.”