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Ards & North Down Investment Plan outlined

Published: Wed, 12 Sep 2018
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We are due to make a significant investment in the Ards and North Down area
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Senior staff recently met Ards and North Down Borough Council for an update on our plans for the next year and to report on last year’s investment.  
We are due to make a significant investment in the Ards and North Down area, during 2018/19.
£22.54m will be invested in upgrading and maintaining our properties, supporting people to live independently, increasing the energy efficiency of homes and providing grant aid in the private sector.  
Through our Landlord and Regional Services last year, we invested £18.63m in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area, this includes grant aid to Housing Associations for the building and rental of new houses.
Our staff gave a presentation on the Housing Investment Plan (HIP) to local Councillors, during which they highlighted many of the achievements made throughout Northern Ireland, over the past year.
Across Northern Ireland, we channelled some £82.3m into services to help the most vulnerable, which included £9.5m on homelessness and £72.8m through our Supporting People Programme.
In addition, there was a large planned maintenance programme, with work undertaken at 23,093 homes; a direct investment of £118.4m to these homes.  
Homeowners and private landlords also received considerable support, with £13.97m spent through grants and over £18.8m in tackling fuel poverty.
Speaking at the Presentation to Ards and North Down Borough Council, Colm McQuillan, our Director of Housing Services said:
“Our Housing Investment Plan was informed by a range of stakeholders and developed as a comprehensive conversation piece for the whole housing sector in Northern Ireland.  
“The Housing Executive has a good working relationship with Ards and North Down Borough Council and it is important this continues.  
“As the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland, we have prepared this Housing Investment Plan to inform the Community Planning Partnership on the state of the housing market; on housing needs; the policy priorities and public sector investment proposals for 2015-19.  
“Lots of work needs to be done to meet housing need, to improve housing stock and to provide support for the most vulnerable in our community. We will continue to play our part to ensure this work is delivered efficiently and effectively.
Maintaining our housing stock is a priority, and this year we will spend £9.28m in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area, on planned and response maintenance to our homes.
This will include outside maintenance work to 2,302 homes, bathroom and kitchen replacements in 632 homes and heating installations in 489 homes.
Next year, we plan to invest £5.95m on stock improvements and adaptations for Persons with a Disability.  
During 2018/21, in partnership with housing associations, around 108 new homes are planned throughout the Borough.
We endeavour to support the most vulnerable members of society through our Supporting People Programme.  
In 2018/19, we will invest £5.81m for housing support services.
We currently fund 70 accommodation based services for 1,218 service users in the Ards and North Down area as well as 7 floating support services for 275 service users.
We continue to contribute to the private sector through a variety of grants to help adapt homes and to support people living in their own home, for longer.  
Last year, we approved 87 disabled facilities grants, 34 repair grants and small numbers of renovation and home repair assistance grants totalling £1,267k.  
Speaking at the Presentation, Owen Brady our Area Manager for Ards and North Down said;
“Our South Regional teams provide a high quality, dedicated housing service to the area.  
“Working alongside our Customer Services Unit, Accounts and Housing Benefit teams, we provide our tenants and the wider community with an effective and efficient service.
“We are committed to investing in the Ards and North Down area, to improve the lives of people in our community.
“My thanks are extended to the Councillors and Officers of Ards and North Down Borough Council for their support for the Housing Executive - we look forward to continuing to work with them on matters of mutual interest, over the coming year.”