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Belfast Investment Plans outlined

Published: Thur, 8 Sep 2016
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Last year we invested £97.6million in the Belfast City Council area
Belfast City Hall
Senior Housing Executive staff recently met Belfast City Council 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 Belfast area to support the delivery of new homes. £79.5 million will also 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 £97.6million in the Belfast City Council area, this includes grant aid to Housing Associations for the building of new houses to rent.
Senior staff gave a presentation on our Housing Investment Plan (HIP) to local Councilors, during which we highlighted many of the achievements the organisation has made throughout Northern Ireland in the past year.  
Across Northern Ireland, we channeled 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 Belfast City Council, Clark Bailie, our Chief Executive, 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 Belfast City 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 Belfast City Council area the organisation will spend £37.5 million on planned and response maintenance to its homes.
This will include outside maintenance work to 2535 homes, new insulation in 280 homes and double glazing in 1526 homes.
Next year we plan to invest a further £13m on capital works completing improvement works to a further  950 homes plus the external cladding to 3 multi-storey blocks improving the insulation standards for over 170 tenants.  
There will also be a significant investment in the replacement of flat roofs that are reaching the end of their useful life.  
In addition heating upgrading works will be completed to a further 1400 homes and external maintenance to 2700 homes.   
In the Belfast City 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 over £1.2million on both major and minor works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.
During 2016/19, in partnership with housing associations, around 1200 new homes are planned throughout the city.
We endeavours to support the most vulnerable members of society through its Supporting People Programme.  
In 2016/17 we will invest over £23.5million for housing support services.
We currently fund 204 sheltered and supported housing schemes in the Belfast City Council area as well as 19 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 it approved 109 disabled facilities grants and a small number of repair and renovation grants totaling £1.8million.  
Speaking at the presentation, our Belfast Regional Manager, Ian McCrickard said; “Our Belfast 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 Belfast area to improve the lives of people in our community.
“My thanks are extended to the Councillors and officers of Belfast City 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.”