24/10/2011

NI Social Housing Secures £65m Boost

Social housing in Northern Ireland is set to benefit from a £65m boost as a result of a funding partnership between Clanmil Housing and Northern Bank.

A £30m loan from Northern Bank will help Clanmil Housing access a further £35m statutory grant funding from the Department for Social Development - combining public and private funding to facilitate the construction of 550 much-needed new social homes across Northern Ireland over the next three years.

The construction industry in Northern Ireland is also set to benefit, with the investment securing 300 on-site jobs over the three-year period and supporting many more associated jobs throughout the supply chain.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland welcomed the Northern Bank's decision to invest in social housing in Northern Ireland. He said: "This funding is a huge vote of confidence by a local bank in the work of a local housing association. My department already provides significant funding for social housing and this combination of public and private financing will enable Clanmil Housing to build substantially more houses.

"In these tough economic times a £30 million injection is a timely and welcome boost not just for those in housing need, but also for our hard pressed construction industry."

Jonathan Boggs, Finance Director at Clanmil Housing, said: "This is really good news in a very tough lending market.

"Faced with growing demand for social housing and increasing constraints on statutory funding, our challenge is to find new funding sources that will support continued investment in social housing and make the public money available go further.

"This is a truly local partnership between a local housing association and a local bank that will benefit our communities and our economy, bringing high-quality, affordable homes for local people in housing need, and much needed jobs for the local construction industry."

According to Northern Bank Corporate Banking Manager Chris Martin: "This latest contract highlights Clanmil Housing's position as one of Northern Ireland's leading housing associations as it continues to address the need for more social housing in the province.

"Northern Bank is pleased to be supporting Clanmil in making this achievable for the housing association and for the individuals and families who will benefit.

"Our investment reinforces our strong commitment to enabling affordable housing in Northern Ireland – not just through our support for local businesses like Clanmil Housing, but also through our strong mortgage offering for people seeking to move house, build or buy for the first time," said Mr Martin.

(LB/BMcC)

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