04/12/2009

Social House Building Gets £30m Boost

The European Investment Bank has announced plans to invest £30m towards a number of social housing projects in Northern Ireland.

Funds are aimed at building new homes, and will support wider urban regeneration initiatives, the Department for Social Development said.

The significant investment will support a number of schemes either already underway or due to start within the next 18 months.

Housing Minister Margaret Ritchie made the announcement during a UK and Ireland 'Housing Work-stream' ministerial meeting to discuss a number of issues affecting social housing.
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Paying tribute to both the European Investment Bank and the Housing Finance Corporation who made the funding possible, Ms Ritchie said: "This record support from the European Investment Bank, facilitated by the Housing Finance Corporation, comes at a time when we plan to deliver more new homes than at any time in the last decade.

"It is a very timely and welcome boost for housing here and represents a huge vote of confidence in the work of our Housing Associations, who will be able to draw down this investment to support their development."

Five housing associations will share this record level of European investment.

They are, Fold, Trinity, Helm, Oaklee and North and West Housing Associations.

Minister Ritchie was joined in Newcastle, Co Down, by Tom Hackett of the EIB, Director General for lending in Europe and Piers Williamson, Chief Executive of the Housing Finance Corporation.

(PR/BMcC)

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