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Housing Rights' response to the Consultation on Department for Communities Budget 2024-25 allocations

June 2024

Housing Rights welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Consultation on the Department for Communities Budget 2024-25 allocations. We have raised some concerns. 

Housing Rights has raised several concerns, including:

  • the Northern Ireland Executive has failed to prioritise the Department for Communities in its budget allocations in line with the housing crisis
  • the budget allocated to the Department for Communities will not allow the Department to function at full capacity and will devastate its ability to provide urgently required services
  • the proposed budget will damage the social housing supply and frustrate the policy direction of the Northern Ireland Executive, Department for Communities and Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • the proposed budget will have damaging implications for people in housing need
  • the proposed budget will have the effect of increasing need while weakening support
  • the proposed budget risks exacerbating the cross-tenure housing crisis
  • the proposed budget risks negative and long-term impacts on health, education and the public purse
  • the consultation raises concerns with the Department’s compliance with its statutory equality duties under section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998

The Executive must also urgently embrace a whole system approach and view spending on housing as a highly important preventative investment in the future of Northern Ireland. Investment in housing stock and homelessness prevention measures will reduce costs in temporary accommodation and the alleviation of homelessness in the short term. In the long term, it will provide significant savings across health and education and reduce the pressure on both sectors. Truly incorporating housing as one of the key pillars in a whole system approach will unlock its potential to be a significant contributor to whole system solutions across society in Northern Ireland.