Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Housing partnership keeps jobs in the fold

Fold housing association said a recent £65m investment in social housing has safeguarded over 1,000 jobs in construction and building supplies.

Work has already started on 400 new homes in west Belfast, Derry, Newtownards and Comber in a partnership between Fold, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Department for Social Development.

Fold projects for new housing in the Village area of south Belfast, Annadale and Torrens, which are also part of the £65m investment, are close to completion.

John McLean, chief executive of Fold, said: “The work commenced in this year and the projects approaching completion represent a total investment of £65m of Fold’s private finance and housing grant from the Department for Social Development.

“This is much needed investment for our local construction industry in these challenging times.’’

“We are very pleased to be providing high quality and energy efficient housing across the main housing stress hot spots in Northern Ireland,” said Fold chairman William Cameron.

“Some of the projects have taken several years to progress to this point.

“However, we are very pleased to be working with local communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to meet this need.”

Continued building in the social housing sector comes in a period of gloom for construction in Northern Ireland.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said the province's construction sector was the worst performing in the UK, with four out of five businesses in the province reporting a fall in orders in the first three months of 2010.

No sector of the Northern Ireland construction industry recorded growth in the first quarter of the year, with public housing work and private housing work among the worst hit.