All Party Group to champion strong & progressive housing

20 January 2015

The first meeting of the new All Party Group on Housing, which received official NI Assembly approval before Christmas, it set to take place next Monday and will hear from government, the social housing sector as well as private sector representatives.


The group is chaired by Colum Eastwood MLA.  It is the first group to focus exclusively on the issue and aims to review current housing policy, lead the debate surrounding the future provision of housing and ensure all those engaged on the issue can interact with public representatives and other policy makers.


Three leading members of the housing sector, John Armstrong from the Construction Employers Federation (CEF), Cameron Watt from the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) and Stephen Martin from the Department for Social Development (DSD) will each provide a comprehensive outline of housing relating to their sectors.


Speaking in advance of the meeting, Chair of the Group, Colum Eastwood MLA said: â??The new All Party Group on Housing will provide a forum for public representatives from all backgrounds to work together on the important issue of housing provision in Northern Ireland. This upcoming session will provide us with a briefing on the sector as it stands at the moment and we plan to examine further areas in more detail during the year.â?


Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive of Helm Housing, who are providing Secretariat support for the Group said: â??The contribution from the key stakeholders in the housing sector will be essential to the All Party Group on Housing as we deal with both policy and the practical realities of our housing stock and our communities. It is a great opportunity for us to champion a better, stronger, progressive housing sector for Northern Ireland.â?


Cameron Watt, Chief Executive of NIFHA, who is due to speak at the event added: â??Housing provision in Northern Ireland relies on a vast array of organisations including the housing associations who we represent. This event includes speakers from our own sector, government and the private sector meaning all those attending can gain a real insight into housing provision at the moment.â?


The group will look at matters across the whole housing sector, including housing stock and standards, housing in community planning, health & housing, private sector matters, supporting people and will work alongside professional organisations and representatives from the housing sector.


The event at Parliament Buildings will take place at 12.30pm on the 26 January in Room 115 and is open to all those working in the housing sector.


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