Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



HE reveals how many new public sector homes must be built in Lisburn


ALMOST 2000 new Housing Executive dwellings will be needed in Lisburn during the next four years to cope with the high level of demand in the city. Waiting lists at the Executive's two local district offices grew dramatically during the period 2003 to 2007.

The Antrim Street office has been assessed as needing 1,100 new dwellings, recording an increase of 51% from 1,311 to 1,982. The number of applicants suffering housing stress increased by 60% from 727 to 1163.

At the Dairyfarm office, where it has been assessed 840 new homes are required, the list grew by 17% from 509 to 596 while the number of applicants in housing stress increased by 33% from 318 to 424.

The figures were presented to Lisburn City Council's Planning Committee earlier this month by a Housing Executive delegation.

Councillors were told the increase in the city's levels of housing stress had been the result of a combination of factors.

These included:

* The impact of affordable housing pressures resulting in low income households, in particular first time buyers unable to access the private market, applying for social housing.

* The decrease in available social housing. The delegation said this had come about because of a reduction in stock through house sales, less turnover as social housing estates have stabilised and fewer households being able to move into the private market.

* The continuing popularity of many areas of Lisburn.

* A shortfall in new housing provision. The delegation explained acquiring suitable sites for development has been difficult in recent years for Housing Associations because of competition from private developers and high land costs.

However, councillors were also told there had been 'a modest increase' in the number of housing allocations in both districts during the past five years mainly brought about by the addition of new housing stock to meet demand

NEW public sector homes are being built in the Lisburn area.

The Housing Executive delegation which addressed the City Council's Planning Committee said a total of 64 units were completed within the Antrim Street District last year while a further 156 were already on site by March 31.

In addition two further schemes totalling 41 units had been secured by the end of the 2007/2008 financial year.

A total of 424 new units are planned for the District during the period April 2008 to March 2013 - 405 in Lisburn, 15 in Lambeg and four in Culcavey.

This leaves a shortfall of 480 units which have been included in unprogrammed 'marker schemes'.

These 'could be considered' if suitable sites become available.

In the Dairyfarm District 33 units of general needs housing were completed last year while a further 23 were on site by March 31.

A total of 591 units are planned for the District during the period April 2008 to March 2013 while a shortfall of 211 projects has been included in unprogrammed marker schemes.

As at Antrim Street, these 'could be considered' if suitable sites become available. Councillors were told the Executive would 'continue to work with Housing Associations and developers' to 'deliver this social housing programme.

Ulster Star