Belfast Telegraph

£65m social housing injection brings jobs boost

By Heather McGarrigle

A funding partnership will bring a £65m boost to Northern Ireland’s social housing and support construction jobs.

A £30m loan from Northern Bank will help Clanmil Housing access a further £35m statutory grant funding from the Department for Social Development.

The combined public and private funding will allow construction of 550 new homes, bolstering the struggling construction industry.

The investment will secure around 300 on-site jobs over the three-year period and support other associated jobs throughout the supply chain.

Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, described the bank’s funding as a “vote of confidence” in the housing association.

He said: “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 £30m 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.”

Northern Bank corporate banking manager, Chris Martin, added: “Our investment reinforces our strong commitment to enabling affordable housing in Northern Ireland.”

Belfast Telegraph