01/04/2010

Ritchie Announces £21m Social Housing Funding

NI Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie has welcomed an investment of £21m for housing associations in Northern Ireland.

The private sector investment, secured for the first time from the Housing Finance Corporation, will be split between Helm Housing Association, receiving £10million; North & West Housing Association, also receiving £10million and the Belfast Community Housing Association, receiving £1million.

"This is good news for those waiting for a house as it will help create new housing stock, thus reducing the waiting lists in Northern Ireland,” said Minister Ritchie.

"In the Executive, I have repeatedly made the case for the need to put housing on a firm financial footing and this includes meeting a higher proportion of investment through private finance.

"Bond financing was a key issue from the British Irish Council housing meeting that I convened in Newcastle and I welcome the fact that housing associations, as a result of the work that I am leading on, have been successful in accessing this finance for the first time."

The Department for Social Development supported housing associations in securing European Investment in 2009, with investment from the Housing Finance Corporation now complementing that borrowing.

Minister Ritchie added: "This latest private sector investment is a massive vote of confidence in the work of local housing associations and illustrates the benefits of jurisdictions on these islands working together. Accessing such competitive finance is another first for housing in Northern Ireland and I am determined that more innovation in housing finance lies ahead."

(NS/GK)


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