Updated: 20 May 2018
Q. Why are these Housing Executive properties being transferred to housing associations?
A. The Housing Executive’s properties that will be included in the Stock Transfer Programme will have been demonstrated by the Stock Condition Survey to require significant investment, and will therefore be proposed for transfer to housing associations in order to have much needed major improvements undertaken. The Housing Executive is currently prevented from taking forward the necessary improvements due to a lack of finance.
Q. Will the transfer be compulsory?
A. A key part of the transfer process will be full consultation with tenants in the estates proposed for transfer. Tenants will be given the opportunity to vote to demonstrate their support or opposition to a transfer proposal affecting their homes, so ultimately the choice will be the tenants.
Q. What are the benefits of transferring these Housing Executive properties to housing associations?
A. The transfer programme will bring much needed improvements to raise the standards of some of our poorest quality housing stock, and will provide the tenants with high quality and decent modern homes fit for purpose.
Q. Why are the housing associations the appropriate bodies to transfer the Housing Executive properties to?
A. Housing associations have continued to demonstrate their ability to lever in additional funding to the housing sector in the form of private finance, something the Housing Executive is presently prevented from doing.
Transferring these homes to the housing association movement creates further opportunities to draw on this expertise and secure the alternative additional funding to conduct this work, and also allows us the opportunity to maximise the use of our limited public expenditure resources across a number of priorities.
Q. When will the properties transfer?
A. The timescale for the new programme has yet to be determined. However, the transfers of the initial tranche of schemes to housing associations are unlikely to take place until 2016.
Q. Why does it take so long to complete a transfer?
A. The transfer of such a large number of social homes is a complicated process and the timescale reflects the need to ensure that the proposed refurbishments for each scheme deliver good value for money and the appropriate level of quality for tenants.
It also must include enough time for tenants to be fully consulted on the range of works that will be carried out on their properties by the successful housing association.
Q. Will rents go up?
A. Annual rent increases have been a feature of social housing over many years and they are necessary to maintain standards. Future rent levels will be better aligned to planned investment and funding requirements. There will be closer convergence between Housing Executive and housing association rent levels over a period of time.