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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Latest housing bulletin released covering October to December 2016

The Department for Communities has released the Northern Ireland housing bulletin for October- December 2016

Homelessness

In total, 3,752 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during October - December 2016, a decrease of 23.8% from the previous quarter. The number of households accepted by NIHE as full duty applicants fell by 30.7% from the previous quarter.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has just published its new Homelessness Strategy for 2017-2022. The Strategy continues the focus of previous strategies on homelessness prevention and aims to ensure that people avoid reaching a point of crisis. Housing Rights’ responded to consultation on the NIHE draft homelessness strategy.


Housing Supply

The total number of new dwelling starts in Northern Ireland recorded by Building Control for October – December 2016 was 1,760, an increase of 27.4% on the same quarter in 2015. The total number of new dwelling completions also increased by 10.3% from the same quarter last year. In 2015/16, there were a total of 1,568 Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP) new social housing dwelling starts and 1,209 SHDP new social housing dwelling completions.

The future development of social housing has been affected by last September’s ONS announcement that housing associations in Northern Ireland (as well as the rest of the UK) will be re-classified as public bodies. This would mean that housing association borrowing would effectively appear on the public ‘balance sheet’, and constrain the development finance available to housing associations. Shortly after the ONS announcement, the Department for Communities published proposals intended to reverse the ONS’s decision. Housing Rights has submitted a response to these proposals.


House Prices

In this quarter the average Northern Ireland house price was £160,500 which was an increase of 5.9% increase on the previous quarter. This continues the general trend since the winter of 2013 whereby housing prices have been steadily rising.

Homeowners who are facing Court action, in mortgage arrears or just struggling to keep up their payments can contact our housing helpline for mortgage debt advice by phoning 028 9024 5640; visiting our advice website housingadviceNI; or chatting to an adviser online.