Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland social housing gets a boost with plans for 300 new units

By Staff Reporter

Up to 300 new social homes are to be built across Northern Ireland in the next three years, a housing association announced today.

Ballymoney-based Triangle will provide around 100 of the buildings this year with the rest to follow. Ulster Bank is lending £7m to the programme.

Residential development has emerged as the one bright-spot for a construction sector that remains in the doldrums in Northern Ireland.

Triangle finance director Alan Crilly said: "Ulster Bank has been active in the social housing sector for many years and we have been very pleased to work with them on a funding package to support our development plans.

"This will enable us to meet our target for new homes this year, which is a major part of our overall growth and development plan for the next three years."

Kenton Hilman, head of corporate and property banking Northern Ireland at Ulster Bank, said Triangle was a well-established housing association with more than 770 units already.

"Ulster Bank has a dedicated relationship management team in Belfast which has the expertise needed to provide specialised lending to the housing association sector, and has been actively involved in supporting several major build programmes by housing associations in recent years.

"This is one of its largest development programmes to date and will provide much-needed accommodation supply, as well as making a positive contribution to the economy through the construction and other jobs it will support."

It comes amid several big housing projects in the last few weeks, based across Northern Ireland.

That includes Northern Ireland's biggest housing development in 10 years, as part of a £200m project in Co Down.

Carryduff firm Fraser Houses hopes to build 1,000 properties off the Movilla Road, Newtownards.

The Rivenwood development should create around 500 jobs and will take 10 to 12 years to finish.

And there are also plans for a massive £90m housing development of 550 new homes - one of the largest of its kind since the crash - is being built in Bangor.

Belfast company Lagan Homes is behind the ambitious plans which will see family houses built in two locations in the Co Down town in a project that is predicted to create around 100 jobs.

Building has already begun at Lynn Hall Park on the Rathgael Road, while a second site at Helen's Wood is currently going through the initial stages of the planning process.

The development is one of the largest single housing projects in Northern Ireland since the recession in 2008, according to Samuel Dickey, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' residential spokesman.

But in a recent survey, RICS said house-building was the only part of the construction sector which appeared to be gaining ground in Northern Ireland.

A large number of surveyors told their professional body that their house-building workloads had picked up during the first quarter of the year.

Belfast Telegraph