Housing News Roundup 19/10/18
Morning Briefing: Northern Ireland Housing Executive homes at risk of ‘de-commissioning’
Northern Ireland-based investigative news outlet The Detail has seen a letter from Leo O’Reilly, the Northern Irish Department for Communities permanent secretary.
In the letter, Mr O’Reilly warns that if more funds are not delivered, the executive will have to decommission half its stock as it falls into a state of disrepair.
The August 6 letter outlines solutions, but warns they require legislation, which is not currently an option with Northern Ireland’s parliament suspended. It would start planning for this from 2019, the letter said.
A spokesperson told The Detail de-investment was “a worse case scenario” and “potentially would mean that we continue to focus only on necessary health and safety work and halt improvement schemes”. It said “it could take around three years before there is a detrimental impact on its homes not subject to investment”.
You can continue reading the article here.
Micro homes may hold key to “housing shortage”
The construction trade association asked 2,000 home owners across the country if there was a housing shortage and, if so, how best to address this.
Two-third of people (66 per cent) believed there was a lack of homes. Of those, one-third (33 per cent) thought building more co-living developments – with small private studios and shared spaces – was the answer.
Creating more micro homes – smaller than 37 square metres – in towns and cities was the favoured solution of 31 per cent of people.
For more on micro homes, read the full article here.
Over 43,000 Housing Executive homes could fall into disrepair if extra funds not secured
A cash crisis could see half of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s (NIHE) 86,500 homes fall into a state of disrepair from 2020 if it cannot secure additional funding, it has been claimed.
And DUP MLA Mervyn Storey, a former Stormont minister, said the issue “could be a bigger problem than Brexit” unless it is dealt with before March next year.
That is when a relaxation of rules for housing associations, which were reclassified as ‘public bodies’ in September 2016, will end.
The change will put tighter limits on their ability to access private finance.
With legislation to reverse that decision stuck at Stormont, all housing association debts will move to the NIHE.
The Belfast Telegraph reports the full story here.
Scottish Borders Council housing plan could see over 1,000 homes built
It is required to submit proposals to the Scottish government each year which itself has a target of building 50,000 new homes.
The council was asked to give its approval to the plans at a meeting this week.
Housing strategy and services manager Cathie Fancy said it had already delivered a large number of houses.
“It’s really pertinent here, that over the last 10 housing strategy submissions to the government, we’ve delivered about 959 new affordable homes, but over the next five years we’re actually hoping to provide more than that,” she told councilors.
“This just shows you the extent of the ambition in what we’re trying to do and and everyone is playing their part.”
You can read the BBC’s full article here.