20 January 2015
Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has launched the first in a series of consultations aimed at improving the way social housing is delivered in Northern Ireland.
The ''Tenant Participation Strategy Consultation, which is part of the Social Housing Reform Programme, calls on social housing tenants across Northern Ireland to air their views on the role they can play in shaping the delivery of social housing, and the services they receive from social landlords.
Minister Storey said: ''My vision for social housing is more than just providing a home for those in need; it is about creating communities with efficient services that respond to local needs. The voices of tenants are vital and they should be encouraged and supported to become involved in shaping the services they receive from their landlords.
I know that there are already a number of social housing landlords already well engaged in tenant participation and this draft Strategy has benefited greatly from their experience.
The Tenant Participation Strategy sets out what social landlords should do in order to give tenants the opportunity and choice to participate in the decisions that affect them and how government will help.
The Minister continued: ''This consultation is an excellent opportunity for everyone, especially tenants, to have their say and I would encourage all those with an interest to respond.''
As part of the Tenant Participation Strategy Consultation, three public events will be held:
· 23 February 2015 - at Belfast Central Mission, Grosvenor House;
· 3 March 2015 - City Hotel, Londonderry; and
· 10 March 2015 - Craigavon Civic Centre.
Alongside these a number of additional events aimed directly at tenants have been organised in order to capture as many tenant views as possible.
Minister Storey added: 2015 is an incredibly important year for the future of social housing in Northern Ireland. In addition to proposals for a tenant participation strategy this intensive consultation process will result in the identification of preferred options for a new social housing rent policy, a new social housing regulatory framework, how organisations should work with the new 11 Councils, and future structures for delivering social housing.
I am committed to ongoing engagement and, through the Social Housing Reform Programme, I am demonstrating my commitment to ensuring that current and future tenants can have access to good quality homes.
The consultation period will run from 15 January - 8 April 2015 and can be found at: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/consultations.
Further information on the Social Housing Reform Programme is available at: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/shrp.