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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Pledges in #AE22 Manifestos 

Northern Ireland will go to the ballot box on 5 May 2022 to vote on its new assembly. Parties have made a number of commitments around housing and homelessness.  

Standalone Housing Outcome 

SDLP and UUP have both committed to: 

  • introducing a standalone housing outcome within the next programme for government to guarantee access to good quality, affordable and sustainable housing for all.  

Housing Supply 

The majority of parties highlighted the urgent need for more social homes. These parties pledge to free-up development land for affordable and social housing. As well as broaden the financial options to the NIHE to enable it to build more homes.  

  • Sinn Féin have committed to delivering over 100,000 homes over 15 years with a focus on creating more social homes in rural areas

  • Green Party want to deliver at least 2,500 energy efficient social housing units per year

  • SDLP want to see vacant domestic properties bought up by social providers  stating that 20,068 domestic properties are vacant across Northern Ireland 

Housing Quality 

Improving housing quality benefits the environment and helps reduce energy costs to tenants.  

  • Alliance, DUP, Green Party and People before Profit all support the retrofitting of homes to make them more energy efficient

  • Alliance have committed to addressing housing quality in social homes by ackling the backlog of NIHE maintenance repairs and ensuring homes meet standards on damp and insulation

Reforms for private renters

The majority of parties support some form of rent control in their manifesto.  

  • People before Profit  support rent cuts and caps, increases to benefits that help with rent costs, longer tenancies and a legal right to a minimum tenancy of five years

  • Sinn Féin commit to further legislation to protect private renters and to improving housing standards

  • SDLP commit to introducing legal minimum standards for housing fitness and to developing a landlord licensing scheme and a complaints service for private tenants

Preventing Homelessness 

A few manifestos recognise how the pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of homeowners. This group of people were provided with minimal assistance and placed at greater risk of homelessness as a result.  

  • People before Profit commit to banning evictions that result in homelessness

  • SDLP commit to providing extra protection through a tailored mortgage support package

  • Alliance commit to examining the feasibility of a preventing possession fund, similar to that operating in Scotland and England

Cost of living crisis and fuel poverty

Most parties are in agreement that we are living through a cost of living crisis

  • DUP commit to reducing the VAT on electricity bills

  • UUP commit to establishing a fuel poverty taskforce early in the new mandate and to rolling out the warm homes discount in Northern Ireland

  • UUP and Alliance commit to bringing home heating oil within the remit of the Utility Regulator

  • People before Profit, SDLP and Sinn Féin all commit to delivering a direct payment of varying amounts, to every household to offset the cost of living crisis

  • Sinn Fein commit to increasing the discretionary support fund by an additional £9million

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NI Assembly

This article was written on 4 May 2022. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.