20/05/2011

Eco Launch Marks New Term For DUP Minister

Northern Ireland's first ever heat recovering social housing scheme has been launched.

The newly appointed Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland has kick-started his new term by launching the innovative development of five houses.

It is being built by Oaklee Homes Group and will be amongst the most energy efficient homes in Northern Ireland.

These Co Tyrone homes will be the first social houses to be built to certified 'passive house' standard which produces a virtually airtight building, with the effect of maintaining comfortable living conditions without, or with much reduced, traditional heating or cooling systems. These homes will see a much reduced energy cost for tenants.

Launching the start of building work at the £800,000 eco-friendly housing scheme, the Minister said that delivering high quality affordable housing is a priority for his Department: "In these tough economic times, our focus has to be on protecting the most disadvantaged in our community and opening opportunities for them. I welcome the opportunity to lead a Department whose business is to support those in need.

"We do this not just through welfare, but also by supporting local community based initiatives and a range of regeneration projects which create or sustain employment. Affordable housing at a high standard is also a fundamental right for all and delivering this will be an early priority for me."

DUP Minister McCausland then outlined the new housing scheme: "I welcome that my first official engagement as Social Development Minister is to help get construction of this new scheme underway, especially in an area of high housing need.

"The delivery of high quality, energy efficient housing is a key priority for my department. Social housing is already leading the way in building homes which meet high levels of sustainability and this pilot will provide valuable learning as we look to improve still further.

"Rising energy costs hit hardest on those who can afford it least. The Housing Executive and Oaklee Homes Group are to be congratulated for embracing the challenge to ensure that tenants get the very best deal from every new house produced," he said.

Ian Elliott, Group Chief Executive of Oaklee Homes Group also commented on the significance of the pioneering scheme: "The Lisnahull Road, Dungannon scheme is anticipated to be the first social housing scheme in Northern Ireland to achieve PassivHaus standard and receive full certification.

"This project demonstrates Oaklee Homes Group’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions in all its new housing developments. The new scheme will be made up of five houses and is expected to use around 90% less energy than a traditional house. The homes will be built with high levels of insulation and high quality windows and doors, with a focus on providing excellent air quality through an efficient ventilation system. This is an exciting development for Oaklee and we look forward to the houses being completed in Spring 2012."

(GK/BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 October 2011
Co Down Housing To Boost Construction Jobs
The construction industry has been given a much needed boost with the announcement of a £18m social housing scheme. Stormont Housing Minister Nelson McCausland has kick-started building work at a new social housing scheme, one of the largest developments currently under construction in Newcastle.
16 June 2011
Derry Housing Association Praised
A housing scheme that has created 17 new houses has been unveiled on the site of the former Rosemount PSNI site in Londonderry, with due praise for the Apex Housing Association.
10 June 2011
DUP Housing Minister Backs Village People
The 'Village people' were celebrating this week as the regeneration of an iconic south Belfast loyalist area kicked-off.
24 May 2010
Conference Addresses NI Housing Needs
The construction of many hundreds more houses is on the agenda for Northern Ireland. That's according to the NI Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie who has been speaking about the challenges and opportunities facing local housing associations during a conference hosted by the University of Ulster.
18 July 2011
Residents Protest Housing List Cuts
At a packed meeting in Killiney in Dublin last Thursday local residents voted to launch a campaign to protest against the government’s new housing policy that will see thousands of people thrown off the housing list.