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Housing delivery is already ahead of target

MY department has a Programme for Government (PfG) commitment to deliver 8,000 social and affordable homes by 2015.

The fact is that, halfway into the period, against a very tight financial environment, we are well ahead of target, with 4,389 new homes already delivered.

And, of course, we would like to deliver more.

It was the same under previous administrations, where budgets always constrain.

In spite of that, funding and plans which I will announce next month are in place to deliver 2,000 new social homes next year – the biggest number of new social homes for the past four years.

These plans include provision for significant numbers of house purchases, both new and pre-owned, from the open market.

At the same time, additional funding is being made available to provide a low-cost route for those who aspire to home ownership. This year, £40m has been made available to support purchase of up to 1,100 new homes.

So, in spite of what Colum Eastwood says (DebateNI, November 27), delivery is already beyond PfG expectations, and plans are in place to deliver bigger numbers of homes both in the social and affordable sectors. I am also establishing a Housing Supply Forum to work across government and with the private sector to identify opportunities, address obstacles and find innovative ways of increasing the current level of private house-building.

NELSON McCAUSLAND MLA

Housing Minister

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