Harmony Homes, a register housing association in Northern Ireland, has recently completed the construction of 135 houses spread over Leopold, Columbia and Rosebank Streets.
The streets are located in Shankill and the scheme has provided quality residences in a previously tired and run down area.
The scheme has seen the demolition of the oldest 14 houses remaining in Leopold Street and their replacement by ten new three bedroom houses. A lot of the previous social housing on the streets has been majorly refurbished including the installation of upgraded electrics and heating, kitchens, insulation. The new housing will also feature PVC double glazing, fascia and rainwater goods, as well as new front and back doors. A number of properties have also been converted to provide larger family homes for tenants.
The development was unveiled following a series of campaign by residents in the area who claimed they had been excluded from planned regeneration projects and mounted a series of protests back in 2009.
Minister Nelson McCausland visited the Shankill area before the project began to view the poor housing conditions. He also met with local residents to discuss options of how to improve their homes. At the time Minister McCausland said:
“The people living in these three streets have had to put up with inadequate housing for far too long. I now intend to put that right. Proposals have now been drawn up by Harmony Homes, in consultation with local residents, to completely refurbish most of the homes and demolish those beyond repair to make way for new homes more suitable for modern families.”
The Minister concluded:
“Good housing is the cornerstone of any community. I would encourage people living in the area to contribute their ideas to the final plans for their homes by getting involved with the tenants planning group being set up by Harmony Homes.”
Clanmil Housing has acted as the project manager throughout the scheme, overseeing the development through five separate phases.
The total cost of the project will cost approximately £6million, with £830,000 being provided by the Department for Social Development, through the Housing Executive, towards the cost of the new build element of the project. The balance is being funded by Harmony Homes from their own funding.
Harmony Homes Northern Ireland is a community based housing association which operates in the Woodvale and Shankill area of Belfast. It currently owns and manages almost 500 units of accommodation for rent.
Harmony Homes provides housing, upgrades and maintenance for general family housing needs. They also offer sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and disabled and special needs accommodation in response to defined and approved complex needs requirements.
Brendan Loughran & Sons acted as the main contractors on the vast development scheme. The firm was established in 1974 and is now based at Carrickmore, near Omagh. The company has grown in reputation and expertise since their inception and is now recognised as one of the leading names in the building and civil engineering industry.
The firm has a range of expertise and undertakes projects from housing schemes to large office block schemes, as well as major and minor refurbishment works. The sectors the company works in include construction, civils, education, design and build, commercial, private housing and health. The company employs over 80 staff members and places their health and safety, as well as the safety of their clients as a top priority.