Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has officially opened a social housing scheme of former Ministry of Defence (MOD) properties at Dog Kennel Close and Dog Kennel Crescent in Lisburn.
The twenty former MOD houses were excess to requirements and have been purchased by Clanmil Housing Association. The cost of provision, including purchase price, minor refurbishment costs and associated housing association costs was £1.7 million, part funded by the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development with additional private funding from Clanmil Housing.
“I am delighted to be here to hand over the keys to the new tenants,” said Mr McCausland. “These homes, which lay idle for two years, have been given a new lease of life and taken 20 families off the housing waiting list. I congratulate Clanmil Housing for having had the foresight to purchase these properties and return them back into use for the benefit of the local community.
“Too often empty homes can be a blight on an area and attract anti-social behaviour. However, we have seen the positives that can come from acting quickly when the opportunity arises.”
The Minister continued:”I welcome the fact that the stability of the wider community has been protected by our intervention ensuring a continuity of occupation that will bring new life and vitality back to the area. I would like to wish all the tenants well in their new homes.”
During a tour of the development, the Minister was showed round the new home of Jean Kerr and son Dexter who have just recently moved in.
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil said: “Refurbishment has brought these once vacant homes back into use as much needed high quality affordable family homes and we are delighted to see our new tenants settling in and making them their own in time for Christmas. We wish Jean, her young sons and all of our new tenants at Dog Kennel Close and Crescent, a very peaceful first Christmas in their new home and many happy years to come.
“We are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have worked with us in the delivery of these homes at Dog Kennel Close and Crescent and in the wider area.”