Our former Minister in his Northern Ireland Housing Strategy, Facing the Future, recognises that government has a role in helping to create the right conditions for a stable and sustainable housing market that supports economic growth and prosperity.
The strategy highlights the need to address shortfalls in housing supply as a key issue for economic recovery and housing market stability in the medium and longer term. Increasing housing supply to match long-term need will reduce the risk of future unsustainable growth in house prices and would also aid job creation and economic recovery.
The Minister therefore wished to identify ways to support an increase in the supply of housing in Northern Ireland. He therefore proposed the establishment of a Housing Supply Forum to give this issue further consideration and to tap the expertise that exists across both government and the broader housing sector and to find workable solutions to improve housing supply in a sustainable way.
The Department carried out an informal consultation exercise and considered good practice from elsewhere to help shape proposals for the objectives, structure and membership of the forum.
Membership and structure
Membership of the forum comprises of a number of key stakeholders focused on organisations who have significant expertise or who have an influence to bring to bear on housing supply issues. These include Government organisations covering housing, planning, regional development, finance and the Strategic Investment Board, the construction industry, financial institutions, academics and housing professionals.
Other stakeholders will be invited, as appropriate, to participate in focus groups which will address individual areas of interest, encouraging a focused approach to the diverse issues that are likely to emerge and give the best prospect of achieving a successful outcome.
The Housing Supply Forum will focus its attention on outcomes in relation to the following key objectives:
- to identify the most important demographic, cultural, construction and housing market related issues affecting housing supply and how they can potentially be addressed
- to assess the extent of the supply gap that exists in Northern Ireland and project the likely gap over the medium and longer-term if the current position continues
- to identify the financial, structural and practical challenges and constraints impacting on housing supply and, where possible, recommend viable solutions
- to analyse the policy and regulatory environment and, where possible, make viable recommendations which will help to generate sustainable increases in housing supply
- to produce a report detailing viable recommendations to address issues identified with a realistic set of agreed actions for the way forward
The inaugural meeting of the Housing Supply Forum was held on 30 January 2014. It met throughout 2014/2015 with other focus groups, identified by the main forum, being established as required throughout this period.
A final written report detailing recommendations to address issues identified, was developed by the Forum. The Housing Supply Forum report was presented to the Minister by the independent chair of the Forum, Mr John Armstrong in January 2016. The Minister will now consider the recommendations made by the Forum, and has also shared those recommendations with the Ministers of the other impacted Executive Departments to allow them to reflect and consider their response
Additional information on the purpose, objectives and the management of the Forum and its Terms of Reference are available in the Housing Supply Form Resource Library.
Useful background information can be accessed through a Resource Library developed for the Forum including housing policy information, housing market research, academic reports and information on existing initiatives.
Contact the Housing Supply Forum
If you would like more information about the Housing Supply Forum contact the Housing Supply Forum Secretariat.