07/07/2011

Builders Get Major House Building Boost

A substantial Co Antrim housing scheme has been launched this week proving much needed good news for the beleaguered construction sector.

Stormont Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has officially started the new £18.5m family housing development in Lisburn.

It will be a 146-unit scheme of 124 two, three and four bedroom houses and 22 two-bedroom apartments for families.

The Minister was on site to cement in place the first brick at the new 146 home scheme - being built by Ulidia Housing Association at Ballymacoss.

DUP Minister McCausland said: "This is a major investment for the people of Lisburn.

"These 146 new homes will make significant inroads into local waiting lists and are a welcome addition in an area that continues to have a high housing need.

"A warm comfortable home is one of the most fundamental rights a person can have. Those on the waiting list can now look forward to new modern, energy efficient homes built to the very highest standards," he said, noting that the new housing will be built to high levels of energy efficiency with gas central heating and PVC double glazed windows.

All have been designed to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, ensuring added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.

The Minister continued: "This is one of the largest developments currently on site anywhere in Northern Ireland.

"In addition to providing much needed housing, this new site will provide an immediate major boost to the local construction industry with work continuing over the next 18 month period. That has to be good news for all concerned."

The Minister also said: "I would like to thank Lisburn City Council, the Housing Executive, Ulidia Housing Association and the local community who all contributed to bringing this scheme forward. This was partnership working at its best that really has paid dividends for local people."

He explained that Ulidia Housing Association is one of 30 housing associations registered with the Department for Social Development (DSD), giving access to grant for social housing. Ulidia is one of Northern Ireland's leading housing associations with some 1,000 homes for rent.

Of the total cost of the scheme - around £18.5m - DSD funding will total £12.3m through the NI Housing Executive and Ulidia funding £6.2m through private financing.

Construction by T&A Kernoghan, in Newtownabbey is scheduled for completion in November 2012.

(BMcC/GK)

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