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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Cost of poor housing in Northern Ireland

The Housing Executive has published the results of its analysis of the costs of poor housing in Northern Ireland. The report suggests that it would cost approximately £305million to eliminate category 1 hazards across Northern Ireland's housing stock, but suggests that such costs would be recovered within 8 years via reduced NHS costs as a result of improved housing. 

Investing in housing stock makes economic sense

Speaking at the Housing Executive's insight exchange on this topic, Simon Nicol of the BRE Group, upon whose methodology the report's findings are based, commented that it makes better sense to invest in improving housing, rather than paying for the consequences of poor housing through the NHS. 

The insight exchange, which focused on the findings of the 2016 House Condition Survey, also looked at fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. The 2016 survey found that some 21% of households in Northern Ireland experienced fuel poverty. The Housing Executive has now published a fuel poverty "ready reckoner" looking at how increases in fuel prices would impact on fuel poverty. This document is available from NIHE's website. 

Lack of investment in housing could cause crisis

In addition to concerns about the costs incurred by the NHS as a result of poor housing, yesterday also saw reports about the urgent need for action to be taken to avoid much of NIHE's housing stock falling into serious disrepair.  Investigative website The Detail reported that NIHE intends to being planning the "decommissioning" of a sizeable portion of its housing portfolio if additional funding for maintenance programmes cannot be found. 

In a letter to former Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey, MLA, the Department for Communities Permanent Secretary Leo O'Reilly identified a number of ways to mitigate this potential crisis, but noted that these required legislative change.  

Tagged In

Regulation, Social Tenancies, Affordability