Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall
Contact: Mrs Sara Steele, Democratic Services Officer 90320202 x6301
Apologies were recorded from Councillor Cobain and de Faoite.
Declarations of Interest
No Declarations of Interest were reported.
The Committee was informed that the following representatives of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) were in attendance to provide the annual update on the Housing Investment Plan for Belfast 2023-2026:
Grainia Long (Chief Executive)
Aengus Hannaway (Regional Manager)
Jennifer Hawthorne (Acting Director of Housing Services)
Andy Kennedy (Asset Management)
Leeann Vincent (Asset Management)
Liam Gunn (Regional Manager – Deputy)
Fiona McGrath (Head of Belfast Place Shaping)
Gerard Flynn (Area Manager)
David Brown (Area Manager)
Paul McCombe (Area Manager)
Aisling McDermott (Area Manager)
Theresa Maguire (Area Manager)
The NIHE Chief Executive commenced by thanking the Members for their commitment to Housing, Dhe emphasised the importance of the Community Planning Partnership and working together towards meeting the outcomes within the Belfast Agenda. Ms. Long then provided an overview of the following priorities and initiatives within the context of community planning:
• that the new four-year Belfast Agenda draft Action Plan was currently out for consultation;
• Advised that Housing Led Regeneration in the City was being explored through the Housing Led Regeneration Subgroup. Fits within the “Our Place” theme in the new draft Action Plan;
• Collaboration was supported to increase housing supply across all tenures, including through the mixed tenure approach in the Local Development Plan where 20% affordable housing would be required;
• this work included the assessment and identification of a pipeline of housing development sites, including public and privately owned land; and
• that a partnership with the private sector was critical to this work to understand barriers to housing delivery and bring forward solutions to unlock delivery.
The Chief Executive then provided a tenure breakdown of the housing across the city, She explained that the Housing Investment Plan (HIP) provided an overview of the housing market in the Belfast City Council area and reflected Community Planning priorities locally. She confirmed that 51% of homes in Belfast were owner occupied, 23% private rented and 26% social rented. She advised that, relative to other Councils, there was a lower level of owner occupation in Belfast and higher level of private rental, however, that was not unusual for cities.
She then provided an overview of Housing Executive spend across Belfast during 2022/2023. She stated that the NIHE had invested more in tenants’ homes, over the past 12 months, than in any of the previous 15 years, this demonstrated the NIHE’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of its tenants by keeping their homes safe, warm and dry.
She advised that, of the £158.5m spent, £64.58m related to ‘Investment New Build’, £26.01m had been spent on planned maintenance and improvements, £22.07m on response maintenance, and £22.48m on the Supporting People Programme. She also detailed projected spend for 2023/24, including £23.24m allocated to planned maintenance including stock improvements, £26.28m for response maintenance and £21.76 to Supporting People.
She specifically referred to the success of the retrofit programme and noted that unfortunately the funding for this programme was now coming to ... view the full minutes text for item 3.