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Mixed-tenure could be the way forward in housing development – new report

Published on: 14 June, 2018
NIFHA chief executive Ben Collins and Dept. for Communities director of housing supply, policy and development Stephen Martin with the new report at the NIFHA Development and Asset Management Conference in the Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast today

NIFHA chief executive Ben Collins and Dept. for Communities director of housing supply, policy and development Stephen Martin with the new report at the NIFHA Development and Asset Management Conference in the Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast today. Photo: Pacemaker

Mixed-tenure housing development can deliver major social benefits, including tackling disadvantage and segregation in Northern Ireland, according to a draft report released today.

‘Mainstreaming Mixed-Tenure in Northern Ireland – the way forward for developing homes?’ is the result of a collaboration between the Department for Communities (DfC) and the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA).  The draft report was presented and discussed at NIFHA’s Development & Asset Management Conference at the Malone Lodge Hotel in Belfast on 14 June.

Commenting on the report’s significance, NIFHA chief executive Ben Collins said “The draft Programme for Government recognises that housing is a key enabler to delivering improved wellbeing and driving economic growth. Mixed tenure development has the potential to help us maximise on the delivery of these benefits for all sections of society. Done well, it can also enhance the viability of housing development and, ultimately, increase the supply of housing across all tenures.”

Mixed-tenure is a term used to describe schemes that combine owner-occupier homes, shared ownership housing and rented (private or social) accommodation. Frequently, mixed-tenure developments also deliver additional benefits such as facilities for health, education, community, retail or commercial space.

Explaining why this happens, Mr Collins said “The focus of mixed-tenure development is fostering greater social, economic and community mix to support thriving and sustainable communities.”

“What this report shows,” he continued, “is that mixed-tenure development has the potential to deliver wider social benefits, including tackling disadvantage and segregation. While it is not a panacea for all social problems and cannot deliver positive outcomes without other complementary policy initiatives, it nevertheless provides a strong foundation for these to succeed.”

Mr Collins noted that the purpose of the draft report is “to stimulate discussion and inform debate about how all the housing sector can work together to deliver mixed-tenure developments that work well here in Northern Ireland.”

Research for the report also involved Apex, Clanmil, Choice and Radius Housing Associations, the National House Building Council, and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, as well as a study visit to Yorkshire where mixed-tenure (involving a mix of social, affordable and private market homes) is very much the norm for housing development.

The full report can be accessed on NIFHA or DfC websites.

For further information, please contact:  Sue Doherty Mellon, Communications Officer, NIFHA on sdoherty@nifha.org or 07946 473651.

Notes:

  • The Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) is the representative body for NI’s 20 registered housing associations.
  • Our members, which are registered charities, provide more than 49,000 homes along with high quality care and support services and spend millions each year investing in the local communities.
  • Housing associations employ more than 3,200 people and manage housing assets worth £3.5bn.
  • In today’s difficult economy, nearly 24,000 households remain in housing stress (in urgent need of accommodation or in seriously unsuitable accommodation) but only half of all the homes needed are being built. Housing associations continue to fill that gap by prioritising people in the greatest need and building affordable homes for them.
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