Social Development Minister McCausland has viewed a social housing refurbishment scheme in the Lower Oldpark area of North Belfast.
The scheme estimated to cost £2.5 million once completed, comprises a mixture of 26 houses situated on Mountview Street, Manor Court and Oldpark Road. The properties which have lain derelict for a number of years, are being totally refurbished by Clanmil Housing with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.
Speaking after viewing one of the refurbished homes, Minister McCausland said: “I am pleased to see these once empty derelict homes brought back into use. This £2.5 million investment will provide 26 families with newly refurbished homes and all the benefits that these bring. I want to congratulate Clanmil Housing, working in tandem with the local community, for their determination and innovative thinking in refurbishing these derelict homes and making them available for social housing once again.
“Empty derelict homes can be a blight on a community and attract anti-social behaviour. That is why last month I launched the new Empty Homes Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2018, which is part of my Housing Strategy “Facing the Future”. One of its primary aims is to bring empty homes across Northern Ireland back into use.
“I also want to maximise all opportunities to meet housing need. This housing refurbishment scheme at Manor Court is a great example of that in action and illustrates the many benefits in bringing empty homes such as these back into use. I will make further announcements on the Empty Homes Strategy as we move forward in the implementation of the Action Plan.”
The properties will be released in six phases with the first five new homes situated in Manor Court due to be handed over to tenants in November 2013. The remaining will be released in phases during 2014 with the last in October 2014.
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil said: “Clanmil is making a significant investment to bring these once empty houses back to life as high quality, affordable family homes and we are really looking forward to welcoming our first tenants in the coming weeks followed by more families as the next phases are completed.
“We were nominated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to undertake this regeneration project and have been working closely with them and the Department for Social Development along with the local community association and political representatives in delivering these homes. We are very grateful to them all for their assistance.”
Members of the public are able to view 12 Manor Court:
- Tuesday 29 October and Tuesday 5 November, 9.30am to 11.30am.
- Sunday 3 November and Sunday 10 November, 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Notes to editors:
1. Photos can be viewed later today on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/collections/72157626632064777/
2. The 26 unit refurbishment scheme, when fully complete, is estimated to cost in the region of £2.5 million, with the Northern Ireland Executive funding £1.4 million through the Housing Executive and Clanmil Housing funding £1.1 million through private financing.
3. The completed scheme will comprise of:
- 20 x 3 person, 2 bedroom houses
- 1 x 4 person, 3 bedroom houses
- 5 x 5 person, 3 bedroom houses.
4. The refurbished dwellings will be to Eco Homes Good, Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes where possible. The refurbishment works include:
- new roofs, windows, doors, kitchens, bathrooms and boilers
- complete insulation
- ground floor extensions with a brick finish, and
- complete replumbing and rewiring.