Anti-social behaviour is one of the key issues affecting the successful management of tenancies, neighbourhoods and communities. Housing associations are fully committed to creating and maintaining safe and sustainable homes and communities which foster a sense of security and wellbeing for all who live in them.
Dealing with anti-social behaviour can be time consuming, resource intensive and expensive. Even with the commitment of housing associations using all of the powers and interventions available to them, it can still be difficult to successfully resolve anti-social behaviour to the satisfaction of those affected by it.We welcome, therefore, a focus on this issue, its impact on the lives of social housing tenants and the need for social landlords to be adequately equipped to play their part in dealing with anti-social behaviour.
Housing associations have a range of strategies and tools at their disposal when it comes to dealing with cases of anti-social behaviour. This ranges from working with tenants involved in anti-social behaviour and using mediation services to resolve disputes through to taking legal action against tenants.
NIFHA would stress that the ending of a social housing tenancy and subsequent eviction is a measure of last resort for housing associations, when the full range of other options has been exhausted. In some cases, however, this is the only way to address anti-social behaviour and resolve the situation satisfactorily for its victims.
NIFHA and our members believe that a holistic and multi-agency approach that is focused on prevention, early intervention and support is the best way to tackle anti-social behaviour effectively and sustainably.
NIFHA is working collaboratively with the PSNI, the Department of Justice and, with local councils, to establish an information sharing protocol in order to effectively tackle anti-social behaviour. We believe that this will provide a real and tangible mechanism for dealing with anti-social behaviour and its consequences for both social housing tenants and social landlords.