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Ards and North Down investment plans outlined

Published: Tue, 11 Oct 2016
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We recently outlined our investment plans for the Ards and North Down Borough Council are.
The Westwinds Estate in Newtownards
Our senior staff met Ards and North Down Borough Council this week for an update on our plans for the next four years and to report on last year’s investment.
The Housing Executive is due to make a significant investment during 2016/17 in the area to support the delivery of new homes.
£19.05 million will also be invested in upgrading and maintaining its 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 £57.07 million in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area, this includes grant aid to housing associations for the building of new houses to rent.
Staff gave a presentation on our Housing Investment Plan (HIP) to local Councillors, during which they highlighted many of the achievements the organisation has made throughout Northern Ireland in the past year.  
Across Northern Ireland, we channelled some £81million into services to help the most vulnerable which included £8.3 million on homelessness and £73 million through our Supporting People programme.
In addition, there was a large planned maintenance programme with work undertaken at 25,100 homes with a direct investment of £85.3 million in these homes.  
Homeowners and private landlords also received considerable support with £12 million spent through grants and over £15 million in tackling fuel poverty.
Speaking at the presentation to Ards and North Down Borough Council, Trevor McCartney, our Director of Corporate 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 works hard to maintain 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 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, improve housing stock and 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 in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area we will spend £8.79 million on planned and response maintenance to our homes.
This will include outside maintenance work to 1,308 homes, double glazing in 273 homes and new kitchens in 250 homes.  In addition, heating upgrading works will be completed to a further 369 homes and bathroom, kitchen and electrical upgrades to 137 homes.
In the Ards and North Down Borough Council area, we will also support those tenants who need help to live independently in their homes through the provision of adaptations.
Last year we spent £632K on both major and minor works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.
During 2016/19, in partnership with housing associations, around 316 new homes are planned across the area.
The Housing Executive endeavours to support the most vulnerable members of society through its Supporting People Programme.  
In 2016/17 we will invest over £6.59 million for housing support services.
We currently funds 74 sheltered and supported housing schemes in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area as well as 7 floating support services.
We 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 we approved 66 disabled facilities grants and a small number of repair and renovation grants totalling £1,039,000k.  
Speaking at the presentation, Ards and North Down Area Manager, Owen Brady said; “Our Ards and North Down 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.”