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Latest Research

Updated: 14 Oct 2018
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latest research
This Section contains our most recently completed research reports

Mapping Northern Ireland’s Housing Market Areas 2018

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) commissioned this study to enhance understanding of the concept of functional housing market areas and to update the suite of 11 broad housing market areas (HMAs) that were originally defined in 2009.
The updated HMAs set out in this report are primarily intended to provide NIHE with a spatial framework to support their analysis of local housing systems and their internal strategy development processes. However, the HMAs should also assist local authorities to more clearly understand the broad HMA of which their local area is part. This in turn should help to clarify which local authorities should look to collaborate in planning for housing development across the broad HMA.

Asking Price Index

Northern Ireland Asking Price Index: Summary Research Report 2017

This report analyses the performance of the Northern Ireland housing market in terms of changes in the prices asked by home sellers, depicting market sentiment and performance.

Affordability in the private rented sector in Northern Ireland in 2017

Summary of analysis carried out by Ulster University, looking at rental affordability in Northern Ireland in 2017.

Affordability in the private housing market in Northern Ireland in 2017

Summary of analysis carried out by Ulster University, looking at two related measures of house price purchase affordability (repayment affordability and deposit requirements) in Northern Ireland since 2010.

Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT): North Lisburn Supported Housing

R F Associates were appointed to undertake an evaluation of the electronic assistive technologies in place at North Lisburn Supported Housing Scheme (Meadowvale Court), for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in November 2017.  In Meadowvale Court the Cedar Foundation work in partnership with Triangle Housing Association to provide an independent living solution for adults over the age of 18 who have a brain injury, physical, sensory or neurological disability.
SMART assistive technology is available throughout the accommodation to maintain and promote independence.  The study set out to evaluate the role and impact of electronic assistive technologies in facilitating and enabling individuals to gain the optimum level of autonomy, control and independence in their own homes.  The range of electronic assistive technologies allows control over tenants’ home environment for example opening doors, windows and turning on lights.

Environmental Control Systems (ECS): Scoping Review 2018

RF Associates, in association with Professor Suzanne Martin of Ulster University, were appointed to undertake a scoping study of Environmental Control Systems (ECS) for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in January 2017.
The study set out to review current service provision and help determine how co-ordinated Health and Social Care (HSC) / Housing service provision of home environmental control technology can support independent living of disabled people (both under and over 18) within Northern Ireland. The work focuses specifically on ECS that enable co-ordinated control of the home environment by a person living with a physical disability. This includes a defined range of electronic assistive technologies described as environmental control systems which enable control over the home environment for example opening doors, windows and turning on lights.

Home Improvement Grants Survey 2017

This Home Improvements Grants Survey 2017 evaluates the private sector grants scheme which is currently being delivered by the Housing Executive's Grants Offices across Northern Ireland. The key findings indicate that the vast majority (92%) of respondents were satisfied with the grants scheme overall.  This level of satisfaction is the same as in 2009, when we last carried out a survey.
The Housing Executive is delighted to have maintained this high standard of user satisfaction during this time. Further examination of performance across the various stages of the grants process shows the Housing Executive has maintained or increased satisfaction levels for all  grants stages since 2009.

Private Tenants Survey 2016

This Survey was carried out by the Housing Executive’s Research Unit, as a follow up to the 2016 House Condition Survey.  It provides a valuable insight into the views and experiences of private tenants, covering areas including affordability, the landlord-tenant relationship, security of tenure and regulation within the sector.  These findings enable further understanding of this important sector of the housing market.
You can now download:

Affordable Warmth Customer Satisfaction Survey 2017 - published February 2018

As part of the quality assurance process for the Affordable Warmth Scheme, the Housing Executive’s Grants Department asked the Research Unit to carry out a survey of applicants who received assistance under the Scheme during the financial year 2016/17. The aim of the survey was to measure levels of customer satisfaction with various aspects of the Affordable Warmth Scheme, with a view to identifying areas for improvement, where appropriate.
This report provides background information on the Affordable Warmth Scheme and how it is administered, and sets out the findings of the survey along with full tabular results.

The Hospital Resettlement Programme in Northern Ireland after The Bamford Review

These reports give a balanced overview of the learning disabled resettlement programme from the NIHE/SP perspective and report on the experiences of people who have been resettled, looking at the effectiveness of the process from their perspective, their levels of satisfaction with the outcome, and the impact on their lives that living in the community has had.
You can now download:

A review of the Affordability of Social Rents in Northern Ireland (2017)

Commissioned in 2016 by the Housing Executive on behalf of the Department for Communities to inform the Social Housing Reform Programme, this study considered the possible impacts of a gradual rise in Housing Executive rents in the context of a more transparent and equitable system of rents for social tenants, which would also help sustain the financial viability of social landlords.
It should be noted that the analysis was completed before the UK Government’s decision in October 2017 that Local Housing Allowance rates would not be applied to social and supported housing from April 2019, as had previously been proposed.  

Tenant Involvement in Governance: Models and Practices

The Housing Executive commissioned the University of Birmingham to review approaches to tenant involvement in the governance of social housing organisations in Northern Ireland and explore the relevance of international models and practices for the region.  The research involved interviews, an evidence review, case studies, and a number of consultation workshops, and this comprehensive final report details the findings of each stage of the project.

Affordability in the private housing market in Northern Ireland in 2016

Summary of analysis carried out by Ulster University, looking at two related measures of house price purchase affordability (repayment affordability and deposit requirements) in Northern Ireland since 2010.

The Business Benefits of the Housing Executive’s Community Involvement Activities (February 2017)

The Housing Executive commissioned the University of Westminster to carry out research on the business benefits to the organisation of community involvement activity, with particular reference to issues such as tenant satisfaction levels, expenditure, service delivery and value for money. The findings of this mixed qualitative and quantitative study showed that investment in community involvement had benefitted the Housing Executive by helping the organisation to identify needs, improve services, reduce costs and develop communities.

Northern Ireland Homelessness Strategy Report: an evaluation

This evaluation focuses on the first four and a half years of the implementation of the five-year Homelessness Strategy for Northern Ireland, 2012-2017. The first chapter provides an overview of the Strategy, the Reprioritisation of the Strategy in 2014, and describes the evaluation. The second chapter looks at the prevention of homelessness over the period 2012-2016. The third chapter explores access to affordable housing and the fourth chapter looks specifically at rough sleeping.  The fifth chapter is concerned with the provision of services to vulnerable homeless households and individuals. Chapter six discusses the Strategy in the international context, drawing comparisons with Scotland, Wales, England and experience and practice from other countries. The report concludes with a discussion of progress and recommendations.

The Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Housing First Support Service piloted by Depaul in Belfast, funded by Supporting People: an SROI evaluation.

‘Housing First’ is a tried and tested approach to providing permanent housing for homeless people who are dependent on alcohol and drugs or who have mental health issues, with the support, social care and health services they need provided to them in their own homes or locally in their community. The intention is that housing should be available even if a homeless person refuses treatment for their substance misuse or mental health issues.

Assessment of the need for furniture provision for new NIHE tenants (March 2016)

This research, carried out by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at
Sheffield Hallam University and the Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland (CHNI), is an assessment of the need for the provision of furniture as a means of assisting new tenants to sustain tenancies. The research will contribute towards informing the wider policy debate around furniture provision and its potential in Northern Ireland to provide a value-for-money means to help develop the Housing Executives Sustaining Tenancies strategy.

Delivering sustainable healthy homes and communities in Northern Ireland (March 2016)

Guidance and good practice on how planning, health, housing and energy professionals can use new planning powers and responsibilities for community planning to support integrated local approaches to sustainable homes and communities, for energy and health and wellbeing.

Funding Mechanisms for New Social Housing in Northern Ireland: A UK-wide Comparative Study (November 2015)

This research was undertaken to provide a comparative understanding of how rates of Government funding for the provision of new social or affordable housing is set across the United Kingdom and how applicable these are in the context of Northern Ireland.

The Economic Impact of Social Housing Organisations in Northern Ireland (published November 2015)

Research carried out for the Housing Executive by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, which showed that social housing organisations supported £1.15 billion worth of output expenditure in Northern Ireland during 2012/13.

Evaluation of Accommodation Based Services Funded by Supporting People Report (September 2015)

This report presents the findings of research undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of Accommodation-Based Support funded by the Supporting People programme.

Tenants’ views of tenancy deposit protection in Northern Ireland (September 2015)

This project was carried out by TDS Northern Ireland in partnership with the Ulster University and was designed to ascertain the views of tenants on the new tenancy deposit protection scheme introduced in Northern Ireland in April 2013.  The project aims to establish a baseline against which the success of the tenancy deposit regulations can be judged in future years

Performance of the Private Rental Market in Northern Ireland

The latest survey of the Northern Ireland private rental sector indicates a vibrant market with continuing demand for rental. The analysis also reveals growth in average rent over the year but also cautions of some variability over the second half of the year which may be related to stimulus and improving conditions in the residential sales market.

Migrant Workers & the Housing Market January 2015

The overall aim of this study was to undertake two housing market analyses, using these to compare and contrast the impact of migrant workers on the local housing markets of Dungannon and Larne district council areas.

Warm Homes Early Years Customer Satisfaction Survey Report (Published September 2014)

The Housing Executive, as quality assurance contractor for the Warm Homes Scheme, regularly assesses levels of customer satisfaction with the different elements of the Warm Homes service, with a view to identifying areas for improvement, where appropriate.

Travellers' Accommodation Needs Assessment 2014 (March 2015)

This is the 3rd comprehensive Travellers’ Accommodation Needs Assessment which updates previous assessments carried out in 2002 and 2008. This research will assist strategic/operational managers to plan future accommodation schemes for the Traveller community’.

Demographic Change and Future Housing Need in Northern Ireland (November 2014)

This report reviews the main demographic trends in Northern Ireland with particular reference to underlying economic and social factors affecting these trends.  It explores views and attitudes to demographically driven models in housing need assessment and evaluates the Net Stock Model used by the Housing Executive since 1994.  It also provides an annual estimate of total new build requirements for social and private housing, assesses the potential for regional disaggregation of this estimate, evaluates models developed in GB for assessing the need for affordable housing and considers the need for supported (social) housing in the context of demographic change and government policy.  This report was written by Professor Chris Paris (University of Adelaide), in association with RSM McClure Watters (Consulting), John Palmer (North Harbour Consulting) and Dr Peter Williams (University of Cambridge)

Through Our Eyes (published February 2015)

The Housing Executive commissioned this study into Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGB&T) homelessness in Northern Ireland. The broad aim of the research was to add to the Housing Executive’s evidence base on the changing characteristics of homelessness in Northern Ireland, specifically with regards to Northern Ireland’s LGB&T communities. This research project was undertaken by The Rainbow Project (TRP), in partnership with Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland (CHNI).

2011 House Condition Survey – District Council Area results (modelled)

The Housing Executive commissioned BRE to develop a model using the 2011 House Condition Survey data, in conjunction with the 2011 Census data,  which would provide key housing indicators at District Council level. Results were to be on a comparable basis with the rest of the UK.
The key housing indicators produced at District Council level were: Fuel Poverty, Decent Homes and Unfitness. The following report and table by BRE outlines the findings.

2011 House Condition Survey

The Northern Ireland House Condition Survey main report is now available.
The 2011 Survey was completed using mobile field computers. This technology was first employed for the 2009 HCS and was reviewed and enhanced for 2011. Benefits achieved by moving to the e-form include administrative efficiencies in the collection of data, an improvement in data quality and a faster turn-around of survey results. Key stock findings are presented here four months after the fieldwork was completed.