House Condition Survey user engagement

Northern Ireland House Condition Survey (NIHCS) 2021

Due to Covid-19, the NIHCS 2021 has been postponed until 2022. In the interim, the Housing Executive will consult with users to identify the key statistics needed, and will produce modelled statistics using data from the 2016 NIHCS.


The next NIHCS was scheduled to take place in 2021, with fieldwork taking place between March and September. The NIHCS 2021 has a sample size of 7,000 dwellings across NI. In order to complete an inspection,  surveyors are required to be in each dwelling for approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Carrying out surveys during COVID-19

The Housing Executive has been monitoring government guidance in relation to Covd-19. It also completed an extensive consultation process in order to gather a range of views in relation to carrying out the survey during the pandemic.

Who did we consult with?

  • The NIHCS Steering Group
  • Users of NIHCS statistics (consultation with the user engagement group, and an online survey to reach other users)
  • The contractor who provides technical expertise and surveyor training
  • Producers of the housing condition surveys in England, Scotland and Wales
  • Producers of other surveys in NI
  • The supervisors and surveyors who worked on the 2016 NIHCS

What were the main risks/concerns?

  • Concern about the transmission of Covid-19
  • Concern that there may be a low response rate (as is the experience of other surveys carried out during the pandemic), which would lead to data quality issues
  • Concern that if there are data quality issues, users will not have the information needed to make informed decisions relating to policy, planning etc.

Next steps

The Research Unit will consult with users to establish the key modelled statistics required. Further updates will be provided on the Housing Executive’s website when available.

If you would like to provide feedback in relation to the modelled data, or if you have any queries, you can contact the NIHCS team by e-mailing:

House Condition Survey User Engagement

Regular user engagement enhances the value of House Condition Survey statistics and a House Condition Survey User Engagement Group was therefore set up to facilitate the Housing Executive in providing information to, and gathering feedback from, key users of House Condition Survey statistics.

The group meets approximately once a quarter. If you would like to become a member of the House Condition Survey User Engagement Group please contact Donna McLarnon by e-mailing, or telephone 028 95982547.

About the User Engagement Group

You can find out more about the User Engagement Group here:

Terms of reference for the House Condition Survey User Engagement Group (PDF 77 kB)

Minutes of the House Condition Survey User Engagement Group meetings

You can download minutes from previous User Engagement group meetings here:

Insight housing market intelligence exchange

The Housing Executive holds Insight events twice a year, allowing senior staff from across the housing sector to engage in discussion and debate, and provide feedback on their views about the critical and emerging issues facing the housing sector in Northern Ireland.

Following Insight events, briefings summarising the information that was shared and the discussions that took place are published on the Housing Executive’s website.

In October 2018 the event focused on the key findings of the 2016 House Condition Survey, and the summary report was launched. 

The March 2019 event covered a wide range of housing issues, including a presentation from Building Research Establishment (BRE) on the cost to improve energy efficiency in Northern Ireland. The costs were estimated using data from the 2016 House Condition Survey.

Fuel poverty workshop

On 21 May 2019 we held 2 workshops for users of the Northern Ireland fuel poverty statistics which are produced as part of the NIHCS. Each workshop comprised 3 presentations by the Building Research Establishment (BRE): Measuring and estimating fuel poverty, Fuel poverty ready reckoner and 2017 & 2018 estimates of fuel poverty.

Following the workshops, delegates were invited to complete an online feedback survey. The results will be used to help the Housing Executive plan future workshops and events.

You can download the slides and the key discussion points from the event below:

Energy efficiency and sustainability
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