Nelson McCausland, Northern Ireland’s Minister for Social Development, has officially started a £7million family housing development scheme in Ballysillan, Belfast, as part of a major scheme to alleviate the need for social housing in Northern Ireland.
The £7m scheme will comprise 38 houses and 8 apartments, all of which will be built to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which will ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date. The houses, built by main contractor Hugh J O’Boyle, range from two to three and four bedrooms. Six of the apartments have been specifically designed to meet the needs of independent older people, whilst a further two are intended for general use.
The superstructures comprise red facing brick with concrete tiled roofing and hardwood windows. In addition, the scheme has incorporated sidewalks and drainage.
Minister McCausland said: “These 46 new homes will be a welcome addition in an area that continues to have a high housing need. This significant investment will not only help to reduce waiting lists, but will bring new life back to this part of Belfast.
“These new modern homes have been designed to meet the needs of the local community. It is particularly pleasing to hear that residents who previously lived in the maisonettes that stood on this site in years gone by wish to stay in the area and will be allocated new homes in the scheme.”
Clare McCarthy, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing said: “Clanmil is committed to providing high quality homes for rent in areas of high housing need and we are delighted to see work start on the construction of these much needed new homes for North Belfast.
“We have worked closely with local community and political representatives to get the scheme to this stage and very much appreciate their help and support. We look forward to welcoming our tenants to their new homes towards the end of next year and to continuing to work with the local community to ensure the future success of this scheme.”
The total cost of the scheme is expcted to be £7.4m, with the DSD funding £4.7m through the Housing Executive and Clanmil Housing funding £2.7m through private financing.
Works began in March 2011 and are scheduled for completion in January 2013.
Clanmil Housing Association was established in 1977. Their mission statement is to provide social housing for anyone in housing need. To date, they have built approximately 2,400 homes throughout Northern Ireland.
The current waiting list for social housing is currently around 39,000.
Carol McTaggart from Clanmil said: “We are committed to growth and to continuing to provide social housing to alleviate housing needs in Northern Ireland. We are working with our partners, along with the Housing Executive and the DSD, to try and identify opportunities for development in those geographic areas where the housing need exists. We are working with those partners to progress schemes that meet design standards in order to access the grant funding to enable us to deliver those schemes. Our raison d’être is to provide housing for anyone in housing need.”
Clanmil Housing Association is in the process of implementing a range of social housing developments across Northern Ireland.
At Glen Road, Belfast, 166 social homes are to be developed on a brownfield regeneration site that had previously housed a brewery for over a century. Clanmil bought the site and will build 100 five-person three-bedroom homes and 20 four-bedroom houses, along with 46 apartments, 7 retail units and an office. Works commenced in March 2010 and are expected to be complete in August 2012. Carol McTaggart said: “This is a very exciting development as the homes have been designed and built to the level 4 code for sustainable homes, which will mean that they are 40% more energy efficient than other social homes.” The scheme will cost £25m, with a Housing Association Grant providing £17.7m and private funding from Clanmil covering the remainder of the costs.
The project at Springfarm, Antrim, comprised the transferral of 53 former Ministry of Defence properties over to Clanmil. Works began in March 2011 and include the refurbishment of thirty 4-person 3-bedroom houses and fifteen 5-person 3-bedroom houses. There are also new build options, comprising 1 three-bedroom house, 6 two-bedroom houses and 1 four-bedroom house. Carol McTaggart noted that Clanmil had worked very closely with local communities and were “excited about making the scheme happen.”
In Derrymacash, Lurgan, a rural scheme is taking place in order to address rural social housing needs, which are often very different to their urban counterpart. Under this scheme, land owned by the Housing Executive was transferred to Clanmil ownership. Fourteen units are to be developed, comprising: 8 five-person, three-bedroom homes; 2 three-person, two-bedroom homes; 2 three-person, two-bedroom apartments and 2 three-person two-bedroom wheelchair apartments.
At North Rugby, the third phase of a four-phase scheme has been planned. This will comprise 42 units: 18 three-person, two-bedroom apartments; 1 four-bedroom house; 12 three-person, two-bedroom houses and 11 five-person, three-bedroom houses. This scheme has had the honour of being named one of Northern Ireland’s top 50 most desirable places to live by The Belfast Telegraph.
The social housing programme began in March 2010. The first two phases are now complete and 124 homes are fully occupied. Phase four is scheduled to begin early next year.
Hugh J O’Boyle has been established in the construction industry for over 60 years, constructing a range of buildings from social housing and schools to health and community centres. Their management team has a combined experience of over 80 years.
Declan McCormick from Hugh J O’Boyle said: “We have been involved with Clanmil Housing Association for a number of years now and we have developed a great working relationship with them. We were extremely pleased to have been awarded the contract to build social housing and to be working with Clanmil Housing Association once again.”