Governing legislation

Updated: 20 May 2018
The Housing Executive performs a wide range of functions
Rathgill Estate, Bangor
Paramount in the governance of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive is the need to ensure its acts within the law. The Housing Executive is a creature of statute. It was originally established as a public authority and independent body corporate under the Housing Executive Act (Northern Ireland) 1971, which was subsequently repealed. This status continues under the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. The Housing Executive, as a public authority is also subject to Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 which obliges it to carry out its functions having due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between certain specified groups of people.
As a statutory body the Housing Executive’s functions (which are made up of duties and powers) are laid down by statute. They are to be found chiefly in the various Housing (Northern Ireland) Orders from 1981-2003.
The following legislation also sets out additional Housing Executive functions.
  • Home Energy Conservation Act 1995;
  • Social Security Administration (NI) Act 1992;
  • Housing Support Services Order (NI) 2002;
  • Housing Support Services Regulations (NI) 2003;
  • Housing (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006;
  • Housing (Amendment) Act (NI) 2010; and,
  • Housing (Amendment) Act (NI) 2011.
The Housing Executive, as a public authority, is also subject to Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 which obliges it to carry out its functions having due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between certain specified groups of people.
Appendix 1 to the full document lists the various legislative functions of the Housing Executive under the relevant legislation.
These include – but are not limited to - the following:
  • The regular examination of housing conditions and housing requirements.
  • Drawing up wide ranging programmes to meet housing needs.
  • Establishing housing information and advisory services.
  • Consulting with District Councils and the Northern Ireland Housing Council.
  • Effecting the closure, demolition and clearance of unfit houses.
  • The possession of unoccupied houses.
  • Carrying out improvements or repairs by agreement.
  • Entry to land for the purpose of survey, valuation or examination.
  • Making vesting orders in respect of land and the disposal of land held.
  • Administering Housing Benefit to the public and private rented sectors.
  • Undertaking the role of the Home Energy Conservation Authority for Northern Ireland.
  • Administering the ‘Supporting People’ initiative.
  • Administering Private Sector Grants.
  • Provision of caravan sites for members of the Traveller Community.
  • The making of energy brokering arrangements for its tenants pursuant to an approved statutory scheme.
  • Preparation and submission of a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Registration Scheme for  Departmental approval and HMO regulation
  • Information sharing powers in respect of anti social behaviour.
  • Powers to take action to enhance community safety in any area.
  • Power to enter into arrangements with other statutory authorities.
  • Effecting the improvement of the condition of the housing stock.
  • Identifying the need for the provision of new social houses.
  • The formulation and publication of a Homelessness Strategy
  • Provision of advice about homelessness and the prevention of homelessness. Statutory responsibility for dealing with homeless applications.
  • Publication and review of its Anti Social Behaviour policies and procedures.