Ministers Hargey and O’Dowd host workshop to overcome challenges to delivering more homes

Date published: 06 September 2022

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd have hosted a joint workshop to seek solutions to constraints on housing supply, particularly in areas of high housing need.

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey with Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey with Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd

The workshop brings together key stakeholders across the housing and water infrastructure sectors.

Minister Hargey said:

“Access to a safe and secure home is a basic human right – it is essential to underpin the health and wellbeing of all our citizens.  But as we know from the numbers waiting on the social housing and those that are in housing stress, too many are being denied this basic right.  We need to build more homes.”

Minister Hargey’s draft Housing Supply Strategy has outlined an ambitious plans to deliver in excess of 100,000 homes over the next 15 years.  Work to develop the Strategy identified that we must unlock many major levers for increasing supply across all housing tenures.  It was identified that central to the challenge is ensuring the right infrastructure is in place to support housing development.

Minister Hargey continued:

“Fixing our housing system depends on harnessing the expertise of those involved in housing to co-design and co-deliver solutions.

“That is why Minister O’Dowd and I decided to hold this joint workshop to bring together experts in housing and wastewater and drainage infrastructure to identify new ways of working and to identify innovative but realistic actions that have the potential to make a real and tangible impact on the ground.  I look forward to hearing their feedback.

“Unfortunately due to the lack of an Executive, my Housing Supply Strategy is still in draft.  While this workshop will support the delivery of this work, it is no substitute for a fully functioning Executive and agreed budget.”

Minister O’Dowd said:

“I am very much aware of the great demand for housing, especially social housing, and the impact that wastewater capacity issues can have on the delivery of housing supply. That is why Minister Hargey and I decided to hold this joint workshop with key stakeholders, to identify new ways of working that could help to facilitate housing growth and economic development, in the current challenging environment.

“However, the continued lack of an Executive agreed multi-year budget and the absence of additional resources from London presents real challenges for the Department and for the planning and delivery of all public services - including the provision of water and wastewater services at this time.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption image one: Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey is pictured with Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd. The Ministers hosted a joint workshop to seek solutions to constraints on housing supply, particularly in areas of high housing need. The workshop brought together key stakeholders across the housing and water infrastructure sectors.
  2. Media enquiries to DFC Press Office on email press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk.
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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