In 2012, the Minister for the Department for Social Development (DSD) announced a Fundamental Review of social housing allocations in Northern Ireland. The review was carried out by the Universities of Ulster and Cambridge who conducted discussions with a number of stakeholders and reviewed best practice in the allocation of social housing in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The final research report contained the recommendations in this briefing (though these do not necessarily represent the views of DSD) The Department is inviting feedback on the recent reports following a review of social housing allocations in Northern Ireland. It will publish a summary of the responses and its final proposals. These proposals will be subject to full public consultation. It is expected that this will take place late in 2014. The deadline for comments on the reports is 4 March 2014.
Housing Rights Service has contributed evidence to a recent consultation exercise on the Housing Executive’s community involvement strategy. Although we have a number of concerns with this draft strategy we nevertheless believe that by involving tenants and listening to what they have to say, social landlords can make better business decisions; create excellent services; save money; and encourage customer loyalty and satisfaction. Resident involvement in social housing is therefore about how tenants, or others living nearby, can influence and improve a social landlord’s activity. The remit of such an influence can range from contributing to decisions on local service delivery to membership of the landlord’s governing body. We believe community involvement is an aspect that should be high on the agenda of the current Social Housing Reform process and the future governance of social landlords. Involving tenants in running their homes is now an established principle in social housing and we look forward to further discussions with NIHE in taking forward this strategy.