Establishing an evidence base for the development of a viable intermediate rent model for the Northern Ireland housing market

This research was commissioned by the Department for Communities to investigate the demand for and potential design of an intermediate rent (IR) product for Northern Ireland. The research was predicated on an awareness in policy circles in NI that social housing alone would not be able to address levels of unmet housing need in Northern Ireland. Evidence from elsewhere in the UK indicated that Government interventions to provide affordable rented housing for those unlikely to have a realistic chance of accessing social housing in an area of choice, as well as those unable to access home ownership or afford   market rents in the private rented sector, could be successful.

The primary tasks for the project are as follows: (1) Assess the rental situation in different parts of Northern Ireland contrasting market rents with housing association rents for different property sizes (2) Modelling work to ascertain the level of potential demand for an intermediate rent product that sits between market and social rents. (3) Provide a sense of the key issues around the design, governance and financing of an intermediate rent product for NI, including a number of sense checking interviews concerned with the scope, geography, structure and design of such a product. (4) Make recommendations to Government on the nature of a viable IR product.

Timeline: November 2020- March 2021 (Awaiting Ministerial approval for publication)

Team: Professor Kenneth Gibb (Co-investigator),  Professor Chris Leishman (Co-investigator), Dr Joe Frey (Knowledge Exchange), Dr Jenny Preece (Co-investigator), Jordan Buchanan (PropertyPal)

Theme: Governance