Housing supply falling short of Province’s needs

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There is no room for complacency in the Northern Ireland housing market a leading figure in the social housing sector has warned.

Welcoming data showing a rise in building in the social sector Nicola McCrudden, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) director for Northern Ireland, said more homes were needed across the province.

Ms McCrudden was referring to the latest statistics from the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin for January to March which showed 1,568 new homes started in the social housinf sector in 2015/161.

“This shows that the social housing sector is contributing significantly to the provision of new homes and has exceeded government’s target of 1,500 new homes – a target which has now been increased to 2,000 in 2016/17.

“The number of new private homes completed increased by 23 per cent on the same quarter in 2015,” she added.

“This steady growth in the number of new homes is promising but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture and we are still not building anywhere near the level we need to.

“We need to build over 11,000 homes every year just to keep up with population growth and household change.”

A lack of housing supply still risked putting a decent home out of reach for more and more people she said.

“The new government must urgently implement the recommendations of the housing supply forum report to address planning constraints and the housing industry’s difficulties in accessing suitable land. We cannot let such constraints limit our progress in building the new homes we so desperately need.”