Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has officially opened a new housing scheme in Culcavy.
The new development at Annacloy Park is owned and managed by Apex Housing Association and, with support from the Department for Social Development, now provides 22 new family homes for applicants on the social housing waiting list.
Minister Storey said: “I am committed to delivering increased numbers of social housing across Northern Ireland; this latest development is part of the important work being done to help sustain rural communities.
“These new homes will make a huge difference to all who now live here, not least because local people now have increased opportunities to both live and work in their own local area. ”
The two, three and four bedroom semi-detached homes have been built to high levels of energy efficiency and include roof solar panels fitted to assist with water heating. A home with wheelchair access has also been included as part of a programme to facilitate wheelchair users.
The Minister continued: “Apex Housing Association is to be congratulated for putting together such an attractive package of energy efficient homes in an area of high housing need.
“This is high quality, well appointed accommodation for 22 families that will make significant inroads into waiting lists in the area. I wish all the tenants well for the future in their new homes.”
Marion Johnston lives in one of the new two bedroom homes along with her grandson Curtis. She is delighted with her new accommodation and took time out to show Minister Storey around her new home.
Following the Minister’s visit, Marion said: “I love everything about my new home from the open plan layout downstairs to my spacious bedroom. I am from the Culcavy area and was really pleased that Apex built these homes in this rural area.”
Gerry Kelly, Chief Executive of Apex Housing Association said: “The Hillsborough area is one of the most expensive areas in Northern Ireland to purchase a property making it difficult for local families on low incomes to remain in the area.
“The new Apex scheme at Annacloy Park will provide modern, energy efficient accommodation at an affordable rent for families who previously were struggling to find suitable accommodation in this area.”