Work under way on £1.7m social housing scheme

Cllr Alexander Redpath, Chairman of the council's Planning Committee, with Mrs Hazel Bell, Chair of Choice Housing Ireland, at the sod cutting ceremony in Glenavy.
Cllr Alexander Redpath, Chairman of the council's Planning Committee, with Mrs Hazel Bell, Chair of Choice Housing Ireland, at the sod cutting ceremony in Glenavy.

Work is under way on a new £1.7 million 16-unit social housing scheme in Glenavy.

The Choice Housing project in the village’s Main Street will provide 16 much needed new homes - 12 houses and four apartments.

The development, which is scheduled for completion in March 2018, will accommodate up to 60 people and is being funded through a mix of private financing secured by Choice Housing and grants from the Department for Communities.

Michael McDonnell, Group Chief Executive of Choice Housing said: “This is an important development for Glenavy and particularly for those on the housing waiting list. We have worked closely with the local communities in the design and build of this scheme to ensure it meets high standards of efficiency and quality but also to ensure that it can reflect the type of future we all want to see.

“Housing can be a powerful catalyst for positive transformation and this scheme is about supporting thriving and sustainable communities. It is great to see the project really getting under way and I look forward to welcoming tenants into their new homes next year.”

Welcoming the start of work on the project, Cllr Alexander Redpath said: “Lisburn and Castlereagh has one of the highest levels of housing stress of any local government district in Northern Ireland. There is a pressing need for new social homes and this development will go part of the way to providing for this need. I would like to thank Choice Housing for this investment in our community and for their ongoing commitment to Lisburn and Castlereagh.

“I am aware that there are concerns regarding this scheme and I would urge Choice to continue to engage fully with local residents and to fulfil their duty as a responsible landlord once the development is up and running. I hope that any concerns can be addressed in this time.”

The UUP man, who is Chairman of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Planning Committee, added: “I am particularly pleased that this investment is in my own district of Killultagh and I hope that local families benefit from this extra supply of social housing. Rural and village communities are often overlooked in the supply of social housing but it is vital they receive attention so that local families can be kept together and the next generation can continue to live in the community they were born into.”