Plans for Causeway Coast and Glens announced
Published: Thur, 29 Oct 2015
Our senior staff recently met with councilors from Causeway Coast and Glens Council to outline our plans for the next four years and report on last year’s investment.
The meeting represents our annual consultation with local government and is the first with the newly established councils. We presented a Housing Investment Plan (HIP) which replaced the District Housing Plan of previous years.
We are due to make a significant investment during 2015/16 in Causeway Coast and Glens. It will support the delivery of new homes as well as invest £21.81mn 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 our landlord and regional services last year we invested £25.72m in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area.
During the meeting our staff highlighted many of the achievements the Housing Executive has made throughout Northern Ireland in the past year.
Across Northern Ireland, we 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 Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Frank O’Connor, our North Regional Manager 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 Causeway Coast and Glens Council area the organisation will spend over £14.6m on planned and response maintenance to its homes. This will include outside maintenance work to 1,308 homes, kitchens for 618 homes, the installation of double glazing in 852 homes, new heating in 453 homes, and smoke alarms for 800 homes.
In the Causeway Coast and Glens 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 over £389k on both major and minor works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.
During 2015/18, in partnership with housing associations, 450 new homes are planned for starting in 36 schemes.
We endeavour to support the most vulnerable members of society through our Supporting People Programme. In 2015/16 it will invest nearly £3.95m for housing support services. We currently fund 59 sheltered and supported housing schemes in Causeway Coast and Glens as well as 5 floating support services.
We continue 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 we approved 100 disabled facilities grants and a small number of repair, discretionary grants and renovation grants with a value of almost £920k.
After the presentation Brendan Doherty, our Area Manager for Causeway, commented:
“Our teams in Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady, provide a high quality dedicated housing service to the Causeway Coast and Glens 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 Causeway Coast and Glens along 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.”