§ Mr. Illsley
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what form of regulation is in place to check the rents charged by housing associations in Northern Ireland to their tenants. 
§ Mr. Moss
[holding answer 22 April 1996]Under article 8 of the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992, registered housing associations in Northern Ireland may fix the amount of rent to be charged for any housing accommodation they provide under a tenancy granted on or after the 16 September 1992. Guidance issued by the Department of Environment, Northern Ireland however stipulates that rents should be affordable and within the reach of tenants in low-paid employment.
Rents for lettings granted prior to 16 September 1992 are controlled by means of a determination issued by the Department and registered housing associations are required to charge the same rent as that which would be charged by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive for similar properties. Compliance is checked by the Department by means of the cyclical monitoring of associations.