|Making a difference|
|Learning & Events|
Responsibility for housing policy and law is devolved to the NI Assembly. The Housing Division within the Department for Social Development has overall strategic responsibility for housing. The current Minister for Social Development is Nelson McCaulsand MLA elected in North Belfast.
The NI Assembly’sSocial Development Committee assists the Minister. It plays a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with the DSD. It is also key to the consideration and development of legislation.
Housing law in Northern Ireland is different to that in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The way in which social housing is managed also differs. Councils are not involved in the allocation of housing.
Northern Ireland has one regional housing authority, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. It has responsibility for a wide range of areas including:
The Housing Executive operates a Common Selection Scheme, using a points based system, for the allocation of social housing along with over 30 Registered Housing Associations . These organisations also have responsibility for building new social housing.
In the private rented sector the main enforcement authorities are local councils. They received a lot of new powers under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006. This introduced a system to target unfitness and disrepair through enforcement and rent control. accounting for 17% of the total housing stock and the demand for housing coninues to grow. The DSD has issued a strategy for the sector "Building Sound Foundations". It aims to encourage the development of a healthy private rented sector, capable of responding more effectively to the housing need in Northern Ireland.