A new housing supply strategy: an opportunity for alternative housing models

Image courtesy – EU.org

Co-operative Alternatives took part in one of the round-table events organised by the Department for Communities on the new housing supply strategy.

According to the Department, “The strategy is intended to provide a long term framework for the development of policy, interventions and action plans to deliver the right homes in the right locations, to help meet current and foreseeable housing needs and demands. As such, it is anticipated that the strategy will make a major contribution to the achievement of strategic outcomes as described in the draft Programme for Government outcomes framework, New Decade New Approach and the Department’s strategic plan, ‘Building Inclusive Communities’”

During the well-attended event, Co-operative Alternatives highlighted the integral part that co-operatives and community benefit societies can play in providing new housing solutions in Northern Ireland. Tiziana O’Hara reflected on the differences with other UK-regions in terms of support and investments and invited the Department for Communities to support alternative social finance programme, like community shares, in order to enable the emerging community-led housing sector.

‘A new and more daring approach is needed,’ said Tiziana O’Hara ‘community-led housing schemes needs to be enabled and supported with the appropriate financial investments and regulatory framework. In our experience, communities across the region are exploring alternative housing models like co-operatives, co-housing schemes, eco-villages, students’ co-ops and all have proven viable proposals.’

With the call for evidence now closed, Co-operative Alternatives will look forward to the new strategy that will be published for consultation at the end of the year 2021.

For any information on co-operatives and community-led housing, please get in touch with Co-operative Alternatives.