10:11 AM, 12th June 2020, About A year ago
The Northern Ireland Executive announced in yesterday’s Covid-19 press conference it was opening up the remainder of the Housing Market from Monday 15th June.
This amendment enables house sales and moves and covers the end to end process such as viewing, securing a mortgage and moving house. The Department for Communities has developed guidance on all aspects of the house move process.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “This is an important milestone as we are now in the process of closing step one in our five step recovery plan.
“We have also been able to move forward on the opening of both the housing and retail sectors which will help our hard pressed local business community.
“The Executive is committed to move forward on other relaxations as soon as it is right to do so. We have consistently said that the regulations will only remain in place as long as they are needed and our decisions will continue to be based on our expert scientific and medical advice.
Karly Greene, head researcher at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, said: “We would very much hope that a measured easing of the current restrictions will allow Northern Ireland’s economy, including the housing market, to re-open and recover in a safe and sustainable way.
“But it will likely be some time before we have a true sense of what recent events mean for house prices and the residential property market.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Today we have been able to continue the forward momentum in our phased recovery plan. The scientific and medical advice to the Executive at this time is that we are in a position to move forward on a number of further relaxations.
“I’m pleased that we have also agreed today to open up the housing market and permit house moves. This is particularly good news for those who have been living in unsuitable accommodation and families in temporary accommodation who will now be able to move into social homes that are waiting for them.
“I believe that the relaxations we are announcing today are a balance between the welfare, social, and emotional needs of our people, as well progress towards opening up our economy.”
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The Executive committed to keeping these restrictions under review and agreed that we would not keep restrictions in place longer than we need to. Today, based on the scientific evidence and medical advice on the prevalence of infection and the course of the epidemic, we have agreed to make some significant relaxations to the restrictions that remain in place.
“However, with this freedom comes a serious responsibility for us all to follow the public health advice and guidelines to the letter. I urge everyone not to underestimate the threat of this virus or the possibility of a second wave of infection and keep working with us until Covid-19 is defeated.”
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