New Years Resolution for Housing Executive
27 January 2011
A New Year’s resolution by the Housing Executive to encourage greater social integration within Northern Ireland’s housing sector has been boosted with the assistance of the EU’s PEACE III Programme.
Aproximately 90% of social housing in Northern Ireland is still segregated into single identity communities – a figure which the Housing Executive is keen to tackle in 2011 through the ‘building relationships in communities’ (BRIC) project.
The project has received funding from PEACE III and is being delivered through an innovative partnership approach involving the Rural Development Council (RDC), the Housing Executive and the specialist community relations organization TIDES Training.
MaEndorsing the New Years Resolutions are (pictured L to R) Mary Montague TIDES Training; Martin McDonald, Rural Development Council; Jennifer Hawthorne, Housing Executive.
The primary objective for the four year project is to promote good relations and community cohesion in Housing Executive estates. The project will achieve this by empowering the Housing Executive staff to develop a new approach founded on the principles of integration, tolerance and mutual respect.
Speaking on behalf of the Housing Executive, Jennifer Hawthorne, Head of Community Cohesion, said, "The Housing Executive is beginning 2011 with a new commitment to embed Good Relations into every aspect of our work. The BRIC project will be a key tool in taking this forward, as, together with our partner organizations, we support and encourage local people to promote neighbourliness and inclusivity in all aspects of community life.”
Notes to the editor
The programme will be delivered through three distinctive and complementary themes. ‘Changing Minds’ will focus on delivering a bespoke Good Relations training programme to Housing Executive staff from board level to the housing estate wardens plus 80 residents groups from housing estates across Northern Ireland. ‘Sharing Visions’ will create opportunities which will provide Housing Executive with the skills to influence the re-imaging of up to two physical interfaces while ‘Crossing borders’ will use a cross-border approach to the analysis of the housing market with a view to facilitate better planning in the border areas. It will explore housing policy on a cross-border housing market delivery model and promote joint government action on cross-border housing issues.
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG IVA, Western Scotland.
The PEACE III Programme is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.