£23.43m to be invested in housing

Causeway Coast and Glens Housing Investment Plan revealed
Causeway Coast and Glens Housing Investment Plan revealed

The Housing Executive met Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on Tuesday for an update on the housing body’s plans for the next year and to report on last year’s investment.

The Housing Executive is due to make a significant investment in the Causeway area during 2019/20 to support the delivery of new homes.

Almost £23.43m will 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 its Landlord and Regional Services last year, the Housing Executive invested £22.35m in the Causeway Council area. This includes grant aid to Housing Associations for the building and rental of new houses.

The Housing Executive gave a presentation on its Housing Investment Plan (HIP) to local Councillors, during which it highlighted many of the organisation’s achievements made over the past year.

Across Northern Ireland, the Housing Executive channelled some £82.3m into services to help the most vulnerable. This included £10.1m of direct funding on homelessness services and £72.2m of Supporting People grant of which £26m provided housing support services to assist homeless households.

In addition, there was a large planned maintenance programme, with work undertaken at 28,223 homes; a direct investment of £128m to these homes.

Over 380,000 response maintenance repairs were carried out at a budgetary cost of £54.2m.

Homeowners and private landlords also received considerable support, with £13.7m spent through home improvement grants and £16.4m in tackling fuel poverty through the Affordable Warmth and Boiler Replacement Schemes.

Speaking at the presentation to Council, Paul Isherwood, the Housing Executive’s Director of Asset Management said: “A range of stakeholders inform our Housing Investment Plan, which is developed as a comprehensive conversation piece for the whole Northern Ireland housing sector.We have a good working relationship with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and there is a lot of engagement on priorities.

“As the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland, we have prepared this Housing Investment 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 2019-23.

“Lots of work needs to be done to meet housing need, to improve housing stock and to 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 its housing stock is a priority for the Housing Executive, and this year the organisation will spend £12.49m in the Causeway Council area, on planned and response maintenance to its homes.

This will include external maintenance work to 894 homes, heating installation in 473 homes and bathroom/kitchen replacements in 299 homes.

This year, we plan to invest almost £3.19m on stock improvements and adaptations for disabled persons.

During 2019/20, in partnership with housing associations, around 203 new homes are planned throughout the borough.

The Housing Executive endeavours to support the most vulnerable members of society through its Supporting People Programme.

In 2019/20, the Housing Executive will invest over £3.89m for housing support services.

The Housing Executive currently funds 60 accommodation based services for almost 936 service users in the Causeway area as well as five floating support services for 132 service users.

The Housing Executive continues to contribute to the private sector through a variety of grants to help adapt homes and to support people living in their own home, for longer.

Last year, it approved 95 disabled facilities grants and a number of repair and renovation grants totalling £1.49m.

The Housing Executive’s North Regional Manager, Frank O’Connor added: “Our Causeway 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 Causeway area, to improve the lives of people in our community.

“My thanks are extended to the Councillors and Officers of Causeway Coast and Glens 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.”