Putting Good Relations
at the Heart of Social Housing
A new initiative designed to encourage greater levels of social integration within Northern Irelandís housing sector has just been launched with assistance from the EUís PEACE III Programme.
The project called PEACE III and is being delivered through an innovative partnership approach involving thehas received a total of £3,522,000 worth of assistance under
Through an innovative approach the partners seek to empower NIHE staff to promote a greater degree of sharing within the currently highly segregated social housing market.
This will be conveyed via a delivery model which will encourage 'Changing Minds, Sharing Visions' and 'Crossing Borders' within NIHE. This innovative model of delivery will place a new and distinctive focus on peace and reconciliation institutional capacity building within a key regional public service organisation. This will help facilitate the promotion of a shared society. Over a four year period the Programme will be delivered through three distinctive and complementary themes:
Theme 1: Changing Minds
To deliver a bespoke training programme that will put Good Relations at the heart of NIHEís policies and service delivery functions.
Theme 2: Sharing Visions
To create opportunities that will provide NIHE with the skills to influence the removal/re-imaging of up to two physical interfaces. To develop a model that will enable the delivery of Urban Renewal Areas founded on the principles of instilling community cohesion.
Theme 3: Crossing Borders
To provide a unique opportunity for NIHE staff to develop the skills to explore housing policy on a cross border housing market delivery model in order to promote cross border participation and integration in border housing market areas.
The overall aim is to build the institutional good relations capacity of NIHE by piloting an innovative service delivery model which aims to empower staff to be able to address the issues of Northern Irelandís segregated housing market.
Over 90% of social housing areas are segregated into single identity communities. In NIHE the organisational culture is affected by being part of the already existing political reality called an 'Ethnic Frontier' a society made up of two different traditions opposed to one another through political 'antagonism'.
Throughout the years of the Northern Ireland conflict, the organisational culture has had to adapt to an environment of division, serving two communities. For many organisations the idea of opening up the 'Pandoraís Box' was seen as too threatening.
However theProgramme facilitates the opening of the box by aiming to carefully and strategically mainstream good relations into the culture of NIHE by going over and above compliance issues such as the Northern Ireland Act (Section 75) and other equality legislation such as Race Relations NI Order 1997, Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1997 (as amended). This project facilitates an institutional capacity building process that will provide a lasting legacy to NIHE.