Second phase begins to convert MoD properties into affordable housing
Work has started on a project to convert 59 former Ministry of Defence (MoD) properties in Lisburn into social and affording housing.
The homes at Mountview Drive were transferred to Clanmil Housing Association by the Department for Communities in March.
The project faced a lengthy delay due to the ongoing political stalemate at Stormont, with no minster in place to authorise the transfer.
However, the go-ahead for the transfer of the homes to Clanmil was one of the first decisions taken by senior civil servants under arrangements introduced in October last year.
The housing association said the work will bring the homes back into use for letting to families from the waiting list and for affordable sale.
It comes five years after Clanmil refurbished 36 of the former MoD homes in the area, providing social homes and homes for sale through a part ownership, part rental scheme.
Clare McCarty, the group chief executive of Clanmil Housing, said she was delighted to see work start on the second phase.
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"Refurbishment is bringing these vacant houses back to life as much needed, high quality, affordable family homes," she said.
"We worked closely with the Department for Communities to progress the transfer, but the lack of an Assembly delayed the refurbishment and left the homes lying vacant for longer than they should have.
"We are delighted that a mechanism is now in place to allow important decisions like this to be made and we are really looking forward to seeing the first families moving in by the end of the year and making these homes their own."