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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

New Plan to Bring Empty Homes Into Use

A long awaited strategy to tackle the problem of empty properties has just been launched by the Department for Social Development (DSD). The Empty Homes Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2018 aims to bring the estimated 32,000 empty homes across NI into use.
Speaking about the new strategy, the DSD Minister, Nelson McCausland said:

“The wastefulness of empty homes at a time when housing need is high is an issue I have long been concerned about. It is a difficult issue to address as many of these homes have been empty for a number of years however, but I am determined to take action on this long running problem...I want to pursue a comprehensive approach to tackling empty homes in order to not only provide much needed homes, but also to transform streets and rebuild communities right across Northern Ireland.”

The DSD and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) will have joint responsibility for implementing the action plan.

A key target of the plan is to reduce the number of empty homes by 4% over the next 5 years or take action on 120 empty homes each year. The five year plan will include the establishment of a new website and a dedicated empty homes unit within the NIHE which will raise awareness, collect accurate data and develop a database of empty homes. The creation of closer working relationships with other agencies such as Land and Property Services and local councils will also be prioritised.

Tagged In

Private Tenancies, Policy, Homelessness

This article was written on 6 September 2013. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.