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Background Information on Northern Ireland Society - Housing



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Text and Research: Fionnuala McKenna
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

Housing

  • The issue of public housing played a key role in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement in the 1960's. Public housing at this stage was mainly allocated by the local councils, and there was much evidence of discrimination in housing allocation against members of the Catholic community.

  • Public housing in Northern Ireland today is provided by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. This body was established in May 1971, and was intended to (a) improve the delivery of housing functions, (b) improve house conditions and (c) meet housing need. Its creation was also an attempt to take housing decisions out of the political arena and place them in the hands of a more neutral professional organisation.

  • In the early 1970's, much of the housing provision in Northern Ireland was inadequate. In 1971, only 63 percent of Catholic homes in Northern Ireland had hot water, a fixed bath or shower, and an inside WC, as opposed to 72 percent of Protestant homes. This gap has however been eradicated over the past 25 years, with almost all homes in Northern Ireland (98 percent), both Catholic and Protestant being furnished with these facilities.

  • Since 1971, the Government has invested over £9,000 million in public housing in Northern Ireland.

  • 27 percent of people in Northern Ireland are currently living in public housing, provided by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). In 1995, the total number of people on the waiting list for Housing Executive accommodation was 23,355. Of this number, 11,196 were classed as urgent. These figures have changed very little over the past number of years. In 1985, the total number of people on the waiting list stood at 24,468.

  • The annual rate of increase in the number of dwellings in Northern Ireland is one of the highest in the UK for both private and public sector.

  • Individuals in Northern Ireland have traditionally spent, and continue to spend less per year on housing than anywhere else in the UK.

  • Over the past six years, Northern Ireland has experienced a 61 percent increase in house prices, compared with a nine percent increase in house prices in the U.K.

  • In 1996, the average price of all houses in Northern Ireland exceeded £50,000. This is the highest figure to date, and it continues to rise. Meanwhile, the average price of a new house in Northern Ireland rose from £41,000 in 1989 to £61,000 in 1996.

  • Some 400,000 people in Northern Ireland now own, or are in the process of buying their own homes. This accounts for approximately 68 percent of all tenure groups, and represents an increase of 14 percent since 1981.
Sources:
The following tables provide further details regarding housing in Northern Ireland. Much of this material has been taken from the Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics (1996), Regional Trends (1996), Martin Melaugh (1994) The Majority Minority Review 3: Housing and Religion in Northern Ireland and the Irish Almanac and Yearbook of Facts (1997).
Additional information can be obtained from the section on Key Issues - Housing in Northern Ireland and Discrimination and Housing in Northern Ireland.


New House Building in Northern Ireland by sector, 1950-90

Year
Total No.
Houses
Local Authorities
NIHT1
Other Public
Private
1950
7359
2788
1459
199
2902
1955
7028
2223
1998
171
2636
1960
6437
2226
1252
183
2776
1965
8937
2789
2560
225
3363
1970
11834
4734
2958
104
4038
.
Year
Total
NIHE2
Housing Association
Private
1975
8919
4885
55
3776
1980
6456
2507
325
3568
1985
10801
3233
626
6940
1990
7919
1299
457
6163

(Source: Melaugh, M. Majority Minority Review 3: Housing and Religion in Northern Ireland, 1994)

Note:
1 Northern Ireland Housing Trust
2 Northern Ireland Housing Executive (est. 1971)



Housing Tenure in Northern Ireland, by Religion, (1971-1991)

. .
Protestant
Catholic
Total
.Tenure
(%)
(%)
(%)
1971Owner Occupied
46.8
42.3
45.7
.Rented Public
32.2
40.9
34.6
.Rented Private
20.5
16.1
19.1
.Not classed/other
0.5
0.7
0.6
1983-84Owner-occupied
56
49
54
.Rented NIHE
34
44
37
.Rented Private
8
6
7
.Rent free
2
1
1
1985-86Owner-occupied
58
49
57
.Rented NIHE
33
44
36
.Rented Private
7
6
6
.Rent free
2
1
1
1988-91Owner-occupied
63
55
61
.Rented NIHE
29
37
31
.Rented Private
7
6
7
.Rent free
1
1
1

(Source: Melaugh, M. Majority Minority Review 3: Housing and Religion in Northern Ireland, 1994)




Percentage of Households and Dwelling Size by Religion, 1971-1991

Year
Number
of rooms
Total population (%)
Catholic
(%)
Protestant
(%)
Not stated
(%)
1971
1,2
4.1
6.9
2.8
5.3
.
3
9.4
13.7
7.5
10.8
.
4
23.7
24.9
23.3
22.8
.
5
29.7
29.2
30.0
29.4
.
6
21.6
16.8
23.6
21.1
.
7+
11.5
8.5
12.8
10.7
1981
1,2
3.73
5.00
3.15
3.94
.
3
9.20
11.46
8.08
9.94
.
4
19.20
19.38
19.13
19.20
.
5
32.15
31.81
31.81
33.88
.
6
20.42
18.50
21.39
19.27
.
7+
15.31
13.85
16.43
13.32
1991
1,2
2.05
2.20
1.83
2.61
.
3
5.20
5.30
4.98
5.95
.
4
14.48
13.30
15.01
15.30
.
5
33.62
36.24
32.11
33.37
.
6
24.37
23.79
24.84
23.72
.
7+
20.29
19.17
21.22
19.06

(Source: Melaugh, M. Majority Minority Review 3: Housing and Religion in Northern Ireland, 1994)





Percentage of Households Without Exclusive use of Specified Amenities and Services, by Religion, 1971-1991

. .
Catholic
(%)
Protestant
(%)
Not Stated/None
(%)
Total Population
(%)
1971: With fixed bath or shower
65.2
74.3
73.0
71.8
. With inside toilet
66.7
74.0
73.6
72.1
. With hot water supply
70.7
80.9
78.1
78.0
. With hot water, fixed bath and inside WC
63.6
72.0
71.1
69.7
1981: With fixed bath or shower
89.4
90.7
90.6
90.4
. With inside toilet
90.6
91.2
91.4
91.1
. Connected to public water supply
94.6
96.8
96.0
96.1
. Connected to public sewer
78.9
83.3
82.9
82.2
1991: With fixed bath or shower
97.7
98.1
98.1
98.0
. With inside toilet
98.2
98.4
98.5
98.4
. Connected to public water supply
98.3
98.8
99.1
98.6
. Connected to public sewer
79.4
83.2
86.9
82.4
. With central heating
73.7
71.8
71.5
72.4

(Source: Melaugh, M. Majority Minority Review 3: Housing and Religion in Northern Ireland, 1994)




Housing Tenure 1990-1995: A comparison of Northern Ireland and Britain
(Percentage)

.
Northern Ireland
Britain
.
1990/
91
1991/
92
1992/
93
1993/
94
1994/
95
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
Owned Outright
30
27
28
31
29
24
25
25
25
26
Owned with Mortgage
33
35
36
33
34
42
41
42
42
41
Rented Local Authority (NIHE)
29
31
28
28
28
24
24
24
21
22
Rented Other
6
7
7
7
8
10
11
10
12
12
Rent Free
1
1
1
1
1
-
-
-
-
-
Sample Base (households)
3,163
3,106
3,091
3,176
3,220
10,085
9,578
9,922
9,987
9,823

(Source: Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1996)



Accommodation by Household Type in Northern Ireland, 1996
(Percentage)



Household Type
Detached
House
Semi-
detached
House
Terraced
House
Purpose-
built flat/
maisonette
Converted flat or maisonette/ rooms
With business premises/ Other
One adult (aged 16-59)
15
22
36
20
6
2
Two adults (aged 16-59)
30
28
33
6
3
1
Small family
29
27
40
3
-
1
Large family
36
24
39
-
-
1
Two adults, one or both aged >60
31
22
37
5
1
3
One adult aged >60
17
20
42
17
1
4
All Household Types
29
24
37
7
1
2

(Source: Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1996)




New Permanent Housing in Northern Ireland, by sector: Completions, 1986-1996

.
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
NIHE
2,580
1,764
1,712
1,708
1,299
953
1,049
810
900
994
1,015
Housing
Association
535
580
705
664
448
759
702
663
555
810
833
Other Public
Agencies
-
-
3
-
15
2
51
18
0
-
-
Private
Enterprise
7,082
7,451
7,511
7,911
6,163
5,164
5,913
5,707
5,522
7,975
8,250
Total
Completions
10,197
9,795
9,931
10,283
7,925
6,878
7,725
7,198
6,977
9,779
10,098

(Source: Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1996 and Northern Ireland Housing and Construction Bulletin, 1997)




Average Price of New Private Sector houses at Sale, 1989-1996

.
1989
(£ 000)
1990
(£ 000)
1991
(£ 000)
1992
(£ 000)
1993
(£ 000)
1994
(£ 000)
1995
(£ 000)
1996
(£ 000)
Q1
39
43
47
51
49
58
59
62
Q2
41
46
48
53
54
56
61
64
Q3
41
46
49
53
55
57
62
64
Q4
42
45
51
52
54
56
61
63


(Source: Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1996)




Average Price of Existing Private Sector Houses at Sale (£), 1990-1996

.
Small terrace
Medium and
large terrace
Semi-detached house/bungalow
Detached bungalow
Detached house
All houses
1990: Q1
14,835
25,650
28,392
43,099
54,962
30,298
......... Q2
15,682
25,226
29,527
43,686
53,222
31,324
......... Q3
17,109
23,948
30,468
45,226
58,720
33,366
......... Q4
15,889
25,930
30,006
44,864
50,617
31,868
1991: Q1
15,968
24,647
32,046
49,995
61,740
35,124
......... Q2
16,683
26,821
30,748
45,724
54,679
32,766
......... Q3
16,018
26,890
31,360
45,400
56,455
33,836
..........Q4
13,824
28,286
29,889
46,091
52,997
34,165
1992: Q1
-
-
-
-
-
34,294
..........Q2
-
-
-
-
-
35,027
..........Q3
-
-
-
-
-
37,222
..........Q4
-
-
-
-
-
33,114
1993: Q1
19,152
26,596
32,046
49,995
61,740
35,124
......... Q2
20,333
25,185
33,131
50,552
64,972
36,090
......... Q3
21,146
29,077
34,714
51,574
69,372
40,760
..........Q4
19,959
25,884
34,764
52,759
68,748
38,902
1994: Q1
18,575
26,463
35,634
52,801
65,296
38,857
......... Q2
20,477
27,886
36,284
55,721
68,038
40,219
......... Q3
20,644
32,846
37,934
56,947
74,152
43,070
..........Q4
20,604
28,895
38,273
58,668
72,558
42,652
1995: Q1
21,952
31,503
41,393
63,384
74,970
42,810
..........Q2
21,418
31,241
39,642
62,017
76,509
46,125
..........Q3
22,196
32,552
40,858
63,983
82,714
45,592
..........Q4
22,612
32,696
42,695
61,390
78,477
45,271
1996: Q1
21,952
31,503
41,393
63,384
74,970
42,810
......... Q2
25,081
36,497
44,511
65,459
83,398
46,983
..........Q3
25,192
38,779
47,522
69,098
87,139
48,666
..........Q4
26,657
37,134
46,885
67,894
87,514
50,5318

Note: Breakdown by type is not available for 1992.

(Source: Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1996, and Northern Ireland Housing and Construction Bulletins, 1995 and 1996)



Accommodation in Northern Ireland, by House Type, 1994/1995
(Percentage)



Tenure
Detached
House
Semi-
detached
House
Terraced
House
Purpose-built flat/
maisonette
Converted flat or maisonette/ rooms
With
business
premises/
Other
Owner occupied, owned outright
47
24
24
1
-
4
Owner occupied, with mortgage
39
36
23
1
-
1
Rented - NIHE
1
12
70
16
-
1
Rented - other
15
13
39
17
13
4
All Tenures
29
24
37
7
1
2


(Source: Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics, 1996)





Total Housing Stock in Northern Ireland, 1981 - 1994; A comparison with England, Scotland and Wales

. 1981
(000,s)
1986
(000,s)
1991
(000,s)
1992
(000,s)
1993
(000,s)
1994
(000,s)
% increase 1981-1994 Rates per 1,000 population 1994
Northern Ireland
502

540

573

580

590

600

19.5

366
England
18,025
18,883
19,788
19,927
20,070
20,219
12.2
425
Scotland
1,970
2,050
2,160
2,175
2,193
2,210
12.2
431
Wales
1,089
1,128
1,191
1,201
1,210
1,219
11.9
418

(Source: Office for National Statistics, Regional Trends, 1996)


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