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Plan launched for community cohesion in NI

Published: Fri, 19 Feb 2016
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Launching the Cohesion Strategy for the next five years are Jennifer Hawthorne, Head of Communities, and Gerry Flynn, Director of Landlord Services
The Housing Executive today outlined its vision to transform communities within Northern Ireland, building upon its achievements across Northern Ireland for the last decade.
The Community Cohesion Strategy 2015-2020 will be delivered across five themes – Residential Segregation/Integration; Flags, emblems, sectional symbols; Race Relations; Interfaces and Communities in Transition.
It was launched in Girdwood Community Hub in Belfast on Friday afternoon by the organisation’s Director of Landlord Services, Gerry Flynn.
Community representatives attending included Rab McCallum from TASCIT and North Belfast Interface Network; George Newell from Lagan Village community group; Alexsandra Lojek from Northern Ireland Alternatives and Linda Watson, from the Housing Community Network.
Community representatives from across Northern Ireland, who gathered for the event, heard that the strategy demonstrates the Housing Executive’s commitment to challenging a segregated society and promotes an ethos of respect, equity and trust.
Our Director of Landlord Services, Gerry Flynn said:
“Our vision is a cohesive, resilient and vibrant community with strong positive relationships and respect for diversity between people from all backgrounds and cultures.
“Good relations is not a new concept to the Housing Executive and we have a wealth of experience a dealing with these issues at a local level. This strategy is about developing and using that experience.
“We will deliver this strategy and continue to build upon our strong track record and will strive for excellence within the field of statutory provision and promotion of community cohesion.”
The strategy aims to:
  • Contribute to the creation of more stable, safer and cohesive neighbourhoods
  • Work in partnership to address the complex housing needs of a divided society
  • Respond to the needs of people in danger as a result of community conflict
  • Facilitate mixed housing where it is practicable, desirable and safe.
Jennifer Hawthorne, our Head of Communities, said:
“I want to pay tribute to the work that is taking place in all of our communities we serve. Our purpose is to facilitate and help those communities towards the creation of vibrant neighbourhoods.
“The Housing Executive’s vision is one in which housing plays its part in creating a peaceful, inclusive, prosperous and fair society. All of our work will be underpinned by our values of making a difference through passion, fairness and expertise. We want to make Northern Ireland a better place to live, work, socialise and do business in.”