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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Proposed Developer Contributions for Affordable Social Housing

The Department for Social Development (DSD) has announced a public consultation on proposals to introduce developer contributions for social and affordable housing.  The consultation, Developer Contributions for Affordable Housing: Public Consultation, closes on 26 August 2014.  Housing Rights Service welcomes this policy initiative and is urging interested parties to respond to the consultation exercise.

According to Housing Minister, Nelson McCausland MLA, the proposals will

  • allow government to help deliver housing to match unmet need and
  • contribute to the development of more balanced, integrated communities.

Asking private developers to contribute to development of affordable homes

DSD is proposing to introduce new planning obligations that will require developers of new private housing to contribute to the stock of affordable housing in Northern Ireland.  DSD has outlined acceptable contributions as:

  • housing units on-site;
  • housing units off-site;
  • housing units and a commuted sum;
  • a commuted sum

DSD is suggesting that the affordable housing contributions must be economically viable for the development to go ahead.   The consultation proposes that only developments which stand to make a profit of at least 15% on the sale of all units, both private and affordable, will be economically viable. The Department states that this is in line with existing practice in Britain and Ireland.

Minister McCausland commented: “Existing developer contribution schemes in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland have proven successful in providing additional housing units, often alongside new owner-occupied housing in mixed tenure communities. It provides an excellent route to allow government to deliver housing to match unmet need.”

Department of Environment consult on practical application of affordable housing contributions

The Department of the Environment (DOE) has published a draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS22) Affordable Housing which contains details on how the DSD policy could be delivered.  You can submit your views PPS22 until 26 August 2014.

While the DSD consultation paper sets out the policy for proposed developer contributions, PPS22 details how these contributions could be delivered.  DSD and DOE will share responses to both consultations to ensure a joined-up approach to this policy. 

Tagged In

Policy, Affordability

This article was written on 9 June 2014. 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.