MLA cheers £237m in social spending

A £237m social housing spend has been helping keep the roof over Lagan Valley’s head for the past 10 years - a lifeline to local builders and a credit to Stormont, says one MLA.

The DUP’s Jonathan Craig said a decade of investment in new social housing, coupled with millions spent on maintenance and improvement, added up to “a real economic benefit” for the constituency.

The Lagan Valley MLA was unapologetic for flagging up what he called evidence of delivery to constituents.

It was in response to his questions to Social Development Ministe r Mervyn Storey, that Mr Craig was pleased to learn, he said, that spending on new social housing in Lagan Valley over the past 10 years amounted to £144 million.

“This was delivered through Housing Associations using a combination of both private and public money,” he said.

“I welcome the news about the scale of this spend.

“Indeed, several of the major new housing builds have been projects that I and key local community representatives have been involved in - Windermere ,175 homes, Ballymacash Hill,150 homes and presently the old Dunmurry High School site, 100 homes.

“These projects have helped keep a beleaguered building trade in Lagan Valley going through the present recession and have provided much needed low cost housing to hundreds of families in the constituency.

“On top of this the Housing Executive has also spent £38 million on planned maintenance, £25 million on preventative maintenance and £30 million on capital improvements in the same time period.

“Again, this all contributes to keeping builders, tradesmen, window manufacturers etc in employment through a very difficult period in the housing industry.

“Frequently we are all told that Stormont delivers nothing and your MLAs do nothing for their constituents.

“Here is clear evidence of delivery for the constituents in Lagan Valley, a fact I make no apology for and evidence of real economic benefit for Lagan Valley being delivered.”