More Social Homes Central To Housing Reform - Hargey

Delivering more social housing to areas most in need is central to a programme of housing reform, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.

During a visit to a new social housing site at Glenmona, West Belfast, where 653 homes – 549 social and 104 affordable – will be built, the Minister reiterated her commitment to delivering more social housing to the areas where they are needed most.

The West Belfast development is one of the largest housing projects anywhere in the north in recent years.

Minister Hargey said: "Delivering more social housing to areas most in need is central to my programme of housing reform. The 653 homes which will be constructed here in Glenmona, will add to the many currently under construction to meet the needs of our society and help reduce housing stress.
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"In addition to the increased new build budget of £162million I secured for this year, I have approved up to £15million in additional support available to Housing Associations who are working with the construction sector to build new homes. This is to take account of the unprecedented upsurge in material costs so there is no adverse effect on the number of new social homes delivered this year."

The Minister continued: "The new build programme is a massive injection of capital to address housing stress now and in the future. The investment I have directed to the social housing development programme represents 64% of my entire capital budget.  That very much reinforces my commitment to addressing the needs of our society, the fundamental right to a home.

"The new homes being delivered right across our society will be life-changing to the people, children and families who are in housing stress. In order to deliver more homes for those who need them, we need a whole system approach. Through my reform programme, the revitalisation of the Housing Executive will be central to investing in existing homes, contributing to the supply of social housing and reducing housing stress, to achieve my vision that every household has access to a good quality, affordable and sustainable home that is appropriate to its needs."

The £140million scheme has been supported by £47.1million Housing Association Grant funding from the Department for Communities and over £92.7million private finance investment by Apex and will include a number of other community and workspace facilities.

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