Local Housing Executive staff and tenants to feature in BBC documentary

Davy Irvine, Neighbourhood Team; Robert McCusker, Maintenance Team; Siobhan McCallan, Housing Team; Steven Sibbald, Housing Team; Aengus Hannaway, Area Manager and and Gerard Flynn, Assistant Area Manager. Pic by Carrie Davenport
Davy Irvine, Neighbourhood Team; Robert McCusker, Maintenance Team; Siobhan McCallan, Housing Team; Steven Sibbald, Housing Team; Aengus Hannaway, Area Manager and and Gerard Flynn, Assistant Area Manager. Pic by Carrie Davenport

Staff at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s Lisburn office are to feature in a new BBC documentary series.

‘The Landlord: Inside the Housing Executive’ is an observational three-part documentary focusing on one of the organisation’s busiest offices, its tenants and members of the public searching for a home of their own.

With a £1bn budget and almost a quarter of a million tenants, the Housing Executive (HE) is Northern Ireland’s biggest landlord.

In Lisburn alone there are approximately 2,500 people on the waiting list, with up to 20 new applications each week.

The three programmes highlight the demand for social housing and the struggles of HE staff as they work on a wide variety of cases.

There are also the never ending maintenance issues, rent arrears, noise problems, the upgrading of kitchens and bathrooms, and the everyday problems that arise from hundreds of people living together on a single estate.

The series also looks at how the organisation is sometimes perceived by its tenants and those on its waiting list.

“The people who live in social housing in Northern Ireland are often forgotten and invisible,” said series producer Stephen Douds.

“Making this series has been a chance to bring the stories of their lives and the experience of their wider communities to a BBC Northern Ireland audience.”

Producer Ryan Ralph was drawn to the sense of duty and responsibility that the Housing Executive team in Lisburn have for the people living in their properties.

“Almost every day, I saw HE staff go well beyond their job description to help tenants and those waiting for a permanent home,” he said.

“I also got to know the tenants, people really proud to call themselves Housing Executive tenants as well as those clamouring for better living conditions.

“I hope this series offers a better understanding of the people living in social housing who sometimes get overlooked by wider society, and of the role played by their ‘landlord’ in supporting them along the way.”

The Landlord: Inside the Housing Executive will air on BBC One Northern Ireland on Monday, October 2 at 10.40pm.