Belfast Telegraph

Housing associations’ £289m investment built 1,600 homes in last 12 months: report

By John Mulgrew

Housing associations in Northern Ireland invested almost £300m in the last 12 months creating 1,600 homes, a new report has shown.

In the last year, Northern Ireland's 20 housing associations spent £289m and helped just under 700 people to purchase their first home.

That's according to the NI Federation of Housing Associations' (NIFHA) 2017 Global Sector Accounts.

The accounts show that the sector "continues to be a key economic driver in the region, with annual turnover of £311.6m and total assets of £3.5bn".

Housing associations employ 3,226 staff and manage 49,332 housing units, the report said.

NIFHA chief executive Ben Collins said: "The report presents a picture of a strong and resilient sector, showing balance sheet growth and the generation of surpluses to fund the building of new homes and ensure continued delivery of quality services to tenants."

But he said that "it should be noted overheads have increased by 13.5% and surpluses decreased by 4.8% from 2015/2106, which highlights the challenging environment in which housing associations operate".

The latest figures were launched at the organisation's annual finance conference, which was held at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast yesterday.

"Housing associations continue to provide much needed homes and services which otherwise would not be delivered," Mr Collins said.

"We are keen to do more, working in partnership with the public and private sectors.

"Focusing on continued efficiency and securing a positive public policy environment will be key to achieving this."

The report was prepared by Martin Pitt of PwC.

Belfast Telegraph

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