Housing is urged as key consideration in any Anti-Poverty Strategy for Northern Ireland – with planners saying the new power-sharing Stormont Assembly should adopt a ‘no single solution’ approach to the region’s homes crisis.
RTPI Northern Ireland “stands ready” to support Stormont, stressing the central part planning will play in achieving the Assembly’s housing and anti-poverty goals.
“Planning deserves more political support – only then will planners in both the public and private sectors, as well as politicians, local communities and investors, be able to deliver a sustainable, competitive and healthy Northern Ireland,” said RTPI NI director Roisin Willmott.
“We look forward to working with the Assembly over the coming months to ensure that the important role planning has to play in improving the quality of life of people and places is recognised and supported.”
RTPI NI sees no single solution to tackling the region’s housing crisis, for which address must include looking at the role of existing stock and considering how small and large scale housing developments can play a part.
Solutions should, the paper says, address housing tenure mix, affordability, environmental protection, climate resilience, and demographic change.
An RTPI NI paper, Planning for the Future of Northern Ireland, makes five specific housing asks of the Assembly:
- Include access to quality housing as an integral element of the Anti-Poverty Strategy
- Publish a long-term plan for housing considering all tenures
- At the regional level, provide direction for Community Plans and LDPs, including information on housing stock, details of delivery, and planning agreements
- Facilitate infrastructure to support new housing and ensure infrastructure provision does not hold up development
- Publish accessible statistics on housing
These are pitched as enabling planners to plan more effectively and delivere homes where they are needed – and link the “visions” in emerging development plans with delivery.