NI housebuilding recovery ‘very welcome’, but there is still some way to go
The number of new homes being started in Northern Ireland is at the highest level in seven years, according 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 April to June was 2,444. This is 19 per cent higher than the same quarter last year, and the highest number since 2010.
While the number of homes completed over this period fell 2.4 per cent, it continues a long term upward trend.
Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing director for Northern Ireland, said: “The improvement in the level of housebuilding is very welcome. It is being driven by the ongoing recovery of the private sector, which started the highest number of new homes in seven years.
“The housing association sector also continues to contribute by providing much needed social homes.
“The ongoing recovery of housebuilding in Northern Ireland will help to ease pressure on rents and house prices. However, the level of new housebuilding needs to keep up with the level of need and we still have some way to go. There are obstacles that we must overcome including getting land where it is needed and improving our planning system.”
Ms McCrudden added: “The impact of Brexit is yet to be determined – there are concerns about the availability of skilled labour, the cost of materials and access to European finance for social housing providers.”
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.
“The Housing Executive has responsibility for addressing homelessness – its new homelessness strategy, with an emphasis on joined up working, will be central to meeting the housing needs of people who are vulnerable.”
For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH 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.