Mixed Tenure Draft Thinkpiece

The Department for Communities’ Housing Supply Unit has partnered with the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) to produce a draft thinkpiece aimed at stimulating debate and discussion about how we might mainstream mixed-tenure development in Northern Ireland.


The draft Programme for Government recognises that housing is a key enabler to delivering improved wellbeing and driving economic growth. It is recognised that mixed-tenure development has the potential to help us maximise on the delivery of these benefits for all sections of society.

Mixed tenure is residential development which combines a range of tenure options, which can include owner-occupier housing, shared ownership housing and rental properties (social, intermediate and private). The focus of mixed-tenure development is fostering greater social, economic and community mix to support thriving and sustainable communities.

The Department for Communities’ Housing Supply Unit and NIFHA have been working together to examine the potential for mainstreaming mixed-tenure development in Northern Ireland.

This work involved the production of an initial research document to investigate the principles and practice of mixed-tenure development and highlight any gaps in our knowledge of how to establish and maintain successful mixed-tenure communities.

Further research was taken forward in the form of a study trip to Yorkshire where mixed tenure is very much the norm for housing developments. The study trip and subsequent research involved representatives from the Department for Communities, NIFHA, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, four housing associations (Choice, Clanmil, Radius and the Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Housing Association) and the National House Building Council (NHBC). This research (both primary and secondary) informed the production of the draft thinkpiece document.

The collaborative approach adopted in the production of the thinkpiece is in keeping with the ethos of the draft Programme for Government and in recognition of the fact that Government alone does not hold all the levers for progressing purposeful mixed-tenure development. It is suggested that the thinkpiece will provide a useful information source for Councils, as they consider the potential role for mixed-tenure housing in their Local Development Plans.

The draft thinkpiece is not intended to represent a definitive review or formal evaluation of mixed tenure.  Rather it is aimed at adding to our collective knowledge about the key issues in the mixed tenure debate. It will be used to inform discussions with providers of social and affordable housing and the wider housing sector, including private developers, lenders, local government, planners, architects and construction industry representatives, about how we can work together to deliver mixed-tenure developments that work within the Northern Ireland context.

Contact Housing Supply Unit

If you would like more information about the Mixed Tenure draft thinkpiece please contact Housing Supply Unit.

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