£27.48m invested in Lisburn by Housing Executive over last year

Councillors from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council have been briefed by the Housing Executive on its work in the city over the past year and its plans for the year ahead.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 2:13 pm
Housing Executive Chief Executive, Grainia Long

Housing Executive Chief Executive, Grainia Long, reflected on the unprecedented year, which saw the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and noted how the organisation had changed how it works to ensure customers were cared for.

She said; “Covid-19 presented huge challenges for us, as we moved staff out of offices to work at home, while lockdown restrictions and supply issues meant a backlog in tacking repairs and delays in much needed upgrade schemes on our estates.

“Despite this, and thanks to the dedication of our staff, we were able to continue to deliver services to tenants and communities to an extremely high level.

“£27.48m was invested in new-build accommodation in the city, which saw 260 of housing starts getting underway, while housing completions for the year equalled 97 – meaning targets were met for the year, despite the pandemic.

“We provided £42,284 in grant funding to support local groups in the Lisburn & Castlereagh region, across several funding streams, including our Community Grants, Community Safety, Areas at Risk and Community Cohesion programmes.

“In terms of homelessness, there were 845 homelessness presentations last year, with 552 homelessness acceptances.

“Given the necessity to social distance in the hostels, this situation placed enormous pressure on temporary accommodation in the city and as we emerge from the pandemic, our reset plan, The Way Home, has been fully funded by the Department for Communities.

“We also took the opportunity to brief Councillors on our Tower Block strategy, which will see the demolition of our high-rise housing stock in years to come.

“To date, eight business cases for demolition have been approved by our Board, while four have already received departmental approval.

“I’d like to sincerely thank the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Councillors for their interest in our work and I very much look forward to engaging with them as we move away from the Covid pandemic in the year ahead.”