Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or call +44 (0)1344 864796.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

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

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will look at key priorities for housing policy in Northern Ireland, with discussion on the planned institutional, regulatory, and policy changes and their implementation.

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.

Further sessions look at the reform of the NI Housing Executive and the restructure of its landlord arm. These reforms are intended to enable the Housing Executive to borrow and promote the involvement of tenants and employees.

The agenda is also structured to bring out latest thinking on wider developments and ambitions, including:

  • the impact of the pandemic on the housing sector
  • priorities for decarbonisation
  • meeting current and future demand for housing
  • tackling homelessness and addressing housing waiting lists


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Communities; the Department for the Economy and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, senior officials from local government and Executive officials, regulators and other agencies, representatives of housing and construction, planning professionals, representatives from local government and social housing organisations, together with representatives from charities.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials are made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

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)


Carol McTaggart

Chief Executive Officer Designate, Clanmil Housing Association

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 Construction Skills 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

Janet Hunter

Chief Executive, Housing Rights Services