In response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review, Cameron Watt, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) said:
“The Chancellor’s U-Turn on Tax Credits is good news. We know that these changes would have cut deepest in Northern Ireland. To protect vulnerable families, it is important that the NI Executive re-allocates the £240m committed to mitigate the impact of Tax Credits to help alleviate the impact of the benefit cap and other welfare reductions.
We welcome the increases in NI capital budgets. Given the 22,000 households in housing stress, and the strong multiplier effect from house building, it is vital that a fair share of this increase is allocated to building new homes.
The Chancellor is committing to a significant increase in house building. To help kick-start our economy and create jobs, it is vital that the NI Executive matches this ambition. Local housing associations are ready to develop more homes of all types and tenures.
The Chancellor recognises the importance of land supply in meeting his ambitions, and has committed to release more public land for 160,000 new homes. Here, land supply remains the biggest major barrier to increasing new homes. That is why we call on the NI Executive to commit to an ambitious target to bring forward unused public land for new homes.
Building on our track record of success, local housing associations are ready to do even more to help build Northern Ireland’s future.”