Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

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Next steps for housing policy in Northern Ireland - strategy and reform, tackling homelessness, and priorities for housing supply, quality, and sustainability

Afternoon, Monday, 7th February 2022

This conference will look at priorities for housing policy in Northern Ireland, with discussion on the planned institutional, regulatory, and policy changes, as well as their implementation. In particular, delegates will focus on next steps for affordable housing, housing supply, homelessness, and waiting lists.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Deirdre Hargey MLA, Minister for Communities; and Grainia Long, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

It will be a timely opportunity to discuss the development of a new Housing Supply Strategy for NI - as well as the Private Tenancies Bill, which is intended to improve the rights and security of tenants in private accommodation. Delegates will also look at how to meet housing demand, the areas of Northern Ireland where housing is most needed, and how to develop attractive and inclusive communities across Northern Ireland. 

Further sessions look at the reform of the NI Housing Executive and the restructuring of its landlord arm. These reforms are intended to enable the Housing Executive to borrow and promote the involvement of tenants and employees. Discussion is also expected on how the housing sector can contribute to low carbon targets, as well as how to best resolve the issues of homelessness and housing waiting lists.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the Department for Communities; the Department for Health; the Department for Infrastructure; the Department for the Economy; the Northern Ireland Assembly; and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Keynote Speakers

Grainia Long

Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Deirdre Hargey MLA

Minister for Communities


Paula Bradley MLA

Chair, Committee for Communities

Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick

former leader, SDLP (2010-2011)


Stew Horne

Head of Policy, Energy Saving Trust

Councillor Peter Lavery

Chair, Planning and Regulatory Services Committee, Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon Borough Council

Darren McKinney

Chief Executive, Habinteg Housing Association

Barry Neilson

Chief Executive, CITB Northern Ireland

Professor Paddy Gray

Professor of Housing, Ulster University

Jim Dennison

Chief Executive, Simon Community NI

Dr Sharon McClements

Lecturer in Built Environment, Ulster University; and Chair, RICS NI

Chris Alexander

Chief Executive Officer, Triangle Housing Association

Justin Cartwright

National Director, Chartered Institute of Housing

Gavin McGuire

Northern Ireland Director, Federation of Master Builders

Janet Hunter

Chief Executive, Housing Rights Services