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Ards and North Down investment plans outlined

Published: Wed, 11 Oct 2017
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Geography of Ards and North Down Borough Council
Senior staff recently met Ards & North Down Borough Council to update it on our plans for the next 12 months and on the previous year’s investment.
We are due to make a significant investment during 2017/18 in the Ards & North Down area to support the delivery of new homes.
£17.90 million will 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 £43.28 million in the Ards & North Down Borough Council, this includes grant aid to Housing Associations for the building of new houses to rent.
Our staff gave a presentation on our Housing Investment Plan (HIP) to local councillors, during which they highlighted many of our achievements 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 Ards & North Down Borough Council, Owen Brady, our Ards and North Down Area Manager, 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 & 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 & North Down Borough Council area, we will spend £8.34 million on planned and response maintenance to our homes, and a further £1.91 million on capital improvements.
This will include outside maintenance work to 1,056 homes and revenue replacements to 161 homes.
To address energy efficiency, double glazing will be carried out to 264 homes and heating installations to 234 homes.
Fire safety measures will be carried out to 358 homes which include smoke alarm replacements and electrical inspections will also be carried out to 352 homes.
Capital improvement schemes will also be carried out to a value of £1.91 million.
In the Ards & 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 £450k on both major and minor works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.
During 2017-20, in partnership with housing associations, around 158 new homes are planned throughout the area.
We endeavour to support the most vulnerable members of society through our Supporting People Programme.  
In 2017/18 we will invest around £5.95million for housing support services.
We currently funds 74 accommodation based services in the Ards & North Down Borough Council area as well as 7 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 homes for longer.
Last year we approved 69 disabled facilities grants and a small number of repair grants, renovation grants and home repair assistance grants totaling £1,287K.  
Ards & North Down Area Manager, Owen Brady, added: “Our district 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 & North Down area to improve the lives of people in our communities.
“My thanks are extended to the councillors and officers of Ards & 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.”