What Future for Social Housing in Northern Ireland in The 21st Century?

Paddy Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In general most people in Northern Ireland are well housed and there has been tremendous progress in the way in which social housing is managed and delivered since the 1960s and the beginning of political violence. Housing conditions and the allocation of social housing was central to the grievances of the civil rights movement and indeed led to the setting up of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 1971. Since the implementation of direct rule into Northern Ireland and the abolition of the Unionist government at Stormont, housing policies have been similar to those introduced in Great Britain with many of the Housing Orders taking a similar form to those introduced as Housing Acts across in Britain. The delivery of housing management services for social housing, however, has gone through many changes since the early 1980s in England, Scotland and Wales. There has been a shift away from the comprehensive housing authorities of the 1970s to a more diverse range of new social landlords, particularly housing associations, where the majority of new build for social housing is developed. In Northern Ireland, however, housing provision and management has been highly politicised and controversial (Gray & Paris 1999) and there has been little change in the way social housing is managed for over 25 years. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has dominated the sector throughout this period since power was transferred to it from local authorities in 1971. Housing associations, on the other hand, have grown slowly to account for just 3% of the housing stock in 1999.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-56
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2000


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