What is the social housing reform programme?

We want to make sure the existing delivery structures, including the Housing Executive, housing associations and the Department, are as effective as they can be. By introducing new policies we also hope to improve how these organisations operate.

What are the steps to reform?

We are looking at how: By producing:
we can engage, involve and empower tenants a tenant participation strategy
to regulate the work of social housing providers a new regulatory framework
to make sure rents are fair, transparent,affordable and consistent a social housing rent policy
social housing providers can engage effectively with local councils  principles for local government engagement
to provide the best possible homes and services for tenants into the long term options for the future delivery of social housing

Joint Asset Commission

In July 2014 the Department and Northern Ireland Housing Executive jointly procured an ‘Asset Commission’ – a large scale consultancy exercise, to examine the condition, performance and management of the NIHE’s property.

View the reports relating to the Joint Asset Commission  

A Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland 2015 - 2020

The Tenant Participation Strategy looks at how social landlords and tenants can work together to improve services. It aims to give all tenants a voice and provide an opportunity for them to get involved in housing decisions that affect them. The document was developed in line with the department’s vision of ‘helping people change their lives for the better’.

What we want to do

We want to look at how:

  • tenants can become more involved and take part in shaping the services they receive
  • landlords should promote, encourage and support tenants to take part at all levels
  • the Department can support tenant participation

What are the steps to reform?

  • we issued a draft Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland for consultation
  • we analysed the consultation responses
  • we will publish the final Tenant Participation Strategy in due course

Latest reports published

View the new reports relating to the Tenant Participation Strategy consultation and a tenant participation strategy for Northern Ireland: 2015 - 2020 

A regulatory framework for social housing providers in Northern Ireland

The Department regulates the work of all social housing providers in Northern Ireland. We use a regulatory framework to do this. In light of changes within the housing sector within the last few years we now want to look at this framework.

What we want to do

We want to change the way social housing providers are regulated with a regulatory framework that:

  • protects and empowers tenants
  • makes sure good quality housing services are delivered
  • supports social housing providers in the delivery of these services
  • allows social housing providers to be more innovative
  • offers assurance to tenants and investors as well as government

What are the steps to reform?

  • we issued proposals for a new regulatory framework for social housing providers in Northern Ireland for consultation
  • we analysed these consultation responses
  • we will publish the new regulatory framework in due course

Latest reports published

View the new reports relating to the Proposals for a new regulatory framework for social housing providers in Northern Ireland

A social housing rent policy for Northern Ireland

A social housing rent policy for Northern Ireland will allow government to make sure that social housing rents:

  • are fair and affordable for the tenants who pay them
  • bring in enough rental income to help maintain homes to a good standard

What we want to do

We want to create a policy that will cover the following important principles:

  • fairness – people have a right to expect that what they pay in rent is fair, compared to other people
  • affordability – people should be able to meet the costs of renting their home
  • sustainability – the rent people pay needs to be enough to make sure their landlord can keep their home in good condition, now and in the future
  • transparency – people should be able to easily find out how their rent is set, what it covers, and how it compares to what people in other situations pay

What are the steps to reform?

  • we will launch a public consultation on proposals for a social housing rent policy
  • we will analyse consultation responses
  • we will publish a summary report of the consultation responses 

Principles for local government engagement

It is important that the Northern Ireland housing sector as a whole engages effectively with local government. We want to find the most effective way of doing this as the reform of the social housing sector starts to takes shape

What we want to do

  • identify basic principles for effective engagement between local government and the whole Northern Ireland housing sector (in particular with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and housing associations)
  • develop a set of principles for successful engagement

What are the steps to reform?

  • identify current processes and best practices
  • research how other jurisdictions engage with local government
  • develop draft principles for effective engagement
  • issue a discussion paper in autumn 2015

Options for the future delivery of social housing

We are looking at options to improve how we deliver social housing in Northern Ireland. We want to provide the best homes and services we can to tenants and local communities. We need to find an affordable and sustainable way of doing this for many years to come. This is a big challenge.

What we want to do

We want to look at:

  • what can be done better?
  • what else should the department and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive do to meet the needs of tenants and other customers?
  • what can we do to make sure future generations can access quality homes in places they want to live?

What are the steps to reform?

We are working with a wide range of experts to:

  • gather evidence on all aspects
  • look at all possible options for providing a fair and equal service
  • present the most suitable option(s) for Northern Ireland to the Department's Minister and the Northern Ireland Executive

Newsletters

Social housing reform programme newletters

Contact  Details

For further information on the programme contact shrp@dsdni.gov.uk

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