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Housing Executive Outlines Newry, Mourne and Down Investment Plans

The Housing Executive is due to make a significant investment in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area during 2016/17 to support the delivery of new homes.

Updating the council on its plans for the next four years during a meeting last week, the Housing Executive revealed it will invest £17.09 million in upgrading and maintaining its properties, supporting people to live independently, increasing the energy efficiency of homes and providing grant aid in the private sector.

The Housing Executive invested £23.6 million in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area, through its landlord and regional services last year, including grant aid to Housing Associations for the building of new houses to rent.

During a presentation on its Housing Investment Plan (HIP), the executive said it had channelled some £81million into services across Northern Ireland to help the most vulnerable which included £8.3 million on homelessness and £73 million through its Supporting People programme.

£85.3 million was also invested in a large planned maintenance programme with work undertaken in over 25,000 homes.

Homeowners and private landlords also received considerable support with £12 million spent through grants and over £15 million in tackling fuel poverty.

Speaking at the presentation to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Gerry Flynn, the Housing Executive’s Director of Landlord Services, said:

“Our Housing Investment Plan was informed by a range of stakeholders and developed as a comprehensive conversation piece for the whole housing sector in Northern Ireland.

“The Housing Executive works hard to maintain a good working relationship with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and it is important this continues.

“As the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland we have prepared this plan to inform the community planning partnership on the state of the housing market, on housing needs, the policy priorities and public sector investment proposals for 2015-19.

“Lots of work needs to be done to meet housing need, improve housing stock and provide support for the most vulnerable in our community – we will continue to play our part to ensure this work is delivered efficiently and effectively.”

Maintaining its housing stock is a priority for the Housing Executive and this year in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area the organisation will spend £7.27 million on planned and response maintenance to its homes.

It will also support those tenants who need help to live independently in their homes through the provision of adaptations.

Around 476 new homes are planned across the area between 2016 and 2019, with an investment of over £6.55 million planned for housing support services in 2016/17.

The Housing Executive currently funds 57 sheltered and supported housing schemes in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area as well as 6 floating support services.

It also continues to contribute to the private sector through a variety of grants to help adapt homes to support people living in their own home for longer.  Last year 94 disabled facilities grants were approved and a small number of repair and renovation grants totalling £428k.

Speaking at the presentation, The Housing Executive’s South Down Area Manager, Loma Wilson, said the executive was committed to investing in the Newry, Mourne and Down area “to improve the lives of people in our community” and she thanked the Councillors and officers of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for their support for the Housing Executive.