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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Executive publishes Community Involvement Strategy

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has published its new Community Involvement Strategy for 2018-2023. The strategy exists to empower residents, tenants and leaseholders in Housing Executive estates to make a difference in their community and its specific aims are to

  • Promote Community Involvement across all communities and
  • Enable communities to challenge, influence and shape the housing service provided by NIHE.

The Housing Executive has listed a number of objectives it will pursue in order to achieve these aims. 

Promoting Community Involvement

Throughout the lifetime of this strategy, NIHE intends to

  • carry out research in order to better understand current levels of participations and participants' views across NIHE communities
  • develop groups to engage under-represented groups and locations
  • review the effectiveness of the existing Community Grants Programme

Enabling communities to shape housing services

Since 1982, the NIHE has run a Housing Community Network (HCN), a structure which aims o involve residents and local community associations in the development and discussion of housing servies. There are four levels in the current structure, ranging from a community network through to the central HCN which is made up of 15 representatives nominated by the area networks. 

In order to achieve its second aim, NIHE has committed to ensuring that the HCN structure is properly able to feed into service development. Following consultation with community representatives, NIHE intends to undertake a number of changes to the HCN model, including

  • refocus local HCN meetings to regularly review all housing servies at estate, local office and area level
  • re-establish the regional level of the network in order to allow for better communication between all levels of the HCN
  • Enable networks to produce recommendations and service improvement plans at a local level

NIHE has also committed to

  • promoting digital inclusion amongst its communities
  • encouraging involvement of difficult to reach customers, including the development of a youth shadow housing forum which will run parallel with the Central Housing Forum
  • developing the capacity of community groups and improving sharing of best practice between groups. 

 

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