Mid and East Antrim plans announced
Published: Wed, 19 Aug 2015
The Housing Executive recently met with Mid and East Antrim Council to outline its plans for the next four years and report on last year’s investment.
The meeting represents the housing body’s annual consultation with local government and is the first with the newly established councils.
The Housing Executive presented a Housing Investment Plan (HIP) which replaced the District Housing Plan of previous years.
The Housing Executive is due to make a significant investment during 2015/16 in the Council area. It will support the delivery of new homes as well as invest £17.57m upgrading and maintaining its properties, support people to live independently, increase the energy efficiency of homes and provide grant aid in the private sector. Through its landlord and regional services last year the Housing Executive invested £20.84m in the Mid and East Antrim Council area.
During the meeting the Housing Executive highlighted many of the achievements the organisation has made throughout Northern Ireland in the past year.
Across Northern Ireland, the Housing Executive channelled some £200 million into services to help the most vulnerable, which included £10 million on homelessness and £72 million through its Supporting People programme. This included delivering a large planned maintenance programme with work undertaken at 29,000 homes with a direct investment of £100 million in these homes.
The private sector also received considerable support with £13.7 million spent through grants and £15.7 million in tackling fuel poverty.
Speaking at the presentation to Mid and East Antrim, Frank O Connor, the Housing Executive’s Regional Manager for North said:
“The Housing Executive works hard to maintain a good working relationship with councils and it is important this continues. Our Housing Investment Plan has been informed by a range of stakeholders and was developed as a comprehensive conversation piece for the whole housing sector in Northern Ireland.
“As the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland we have prepared this 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.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done to meet housing need, improve housing stock and provide support for the most vulnerable in our community. We at the Housing Executive will continue to play our part to ensure this work is delivered efficiently, effectively and judiciously.”
Maintaining its housing stock is a priority for the Housing Executive and this year in the council area the organisation will spend almost £9.2m on planned and response maintenance to its homes. This will include 162 fire doors, outside maintenance work to 1000 homes, new heating in 336 homes, smoke alarms for 609 homes, kitchens for 499 homes and the installation of double glazing in 224 homes.
In the Council area, the Housing Executive will also support those tenants who need help to live independently in their homes through the provision of adaptations. Last year it spent £404k on both major and minor works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.
During 2015/16, in partnership with housing associations, 278 homes are under construction and a further 232 homes will start up to 2017/18.
The Housing Executive endeavours to support the most vulnerable members of society through its Supporting People Programme. In 2015/16 it will invest over £5m for housing support services. The Housing Executive currently funds 65 sheltered and supported housing schemes as well as four floating support services.
The Housing Executive continues to contribute to the private sector through a variety of grants to help adapt homes to support people living in their own home for longer. Last year it approved 66 disabled facilities grants and a small number of repair, discretionary grants and renovation grants with a value of almost £645k. The Housing Executive also supported improvement and repairs in the private sector through the provision of £610k in grant aid.
After the presentation Mairead Myles Davey, the Area Manager for East South, commented:
“Our teams in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus provide a high quality dedicated housing service to the Mid and East Antrim Council area. They work alongside our Customer Services Unit, Accounts and Housing Benefit teams to provide our tenants and the wider community with an effective and efficient service.
“Last year we made a substantial financial investment in this area together with a contribution which cannot be measured in such terms but makes a significant impact on the local community.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the councillors and officers of the Council for their support to the Housing Executive. We look forward to continuing to work with them on matters of mutual interest in the coming year.”