08/08/2007

Minister Praises North Belfast Housing Project

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie MLA has officially handed over keys to the first residents of a £7.3million housing development on Belfast’s Antrim Road today.

Built on the site of the former Milk Marketing Board headquarters, the project was led by Oaklee Housing Association and funded by the Department for Social Development. It consists of 61 houses and apartments for social housing and an additional six houses for sale in the private sector.

The Minister handed over the keys of their new homes to two of the first tenants, Julie Boyle and Kelly Quinn. After touring the housing development and meeting some of the residents, the Minister said: “I am highly impressed by what I have seen today. The design and construction teams have done an excellent job and I would like to congratulate them on a job well done. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of all those involved, especially the Board and staff of Oaklee Housing Association.

“This project is an excellent example of how, through working with the local community in the planning of the housing development, this site, which has lain derelict for some years, has been transformed into a vibrant neighbourhood. It also adds to previous major schemes, such as the Coulter site, in addressing the very high demand for housing in this part of the city.”

(CL/KMcA)

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