Housing Executive meets local councillors

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The Housing Executive is set to invest over £16 million in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area in the coming year.

The investment was announced during a meeting between the authority and local councillors on Monday night.

Over £7 million will be spent on planned maintenance, with just under £2 million being spent on capital improvement work.

Two-hundred-and-ninety-three homes in Stiles and Townparks will benefit from external cyclical maintenance, while 98 homes in Parkgate and Randalstown will receive new kitchens.

New heating installations will be installed in 125 homes in Antrim, while 378 homes will receive smoke alarm replacements.

There will also be investment in new build schemes, though this figure has yet to be finalised and will be in addition to the £16 million investment announced.

Working with housing associations, a number of new build schemes are planned including 14 units at Chaine Court, Antrim (Fold Housing), nine units in Templepatrick (Rural), plus 43 units at a number of locations in Crumlin through a variety of associations.

Presenting the Housing Investment Plan (HIP), which replaced the District Housing Plan of previous years, Siobhan McCauley, the Housing Executive’s Director of Regional Services, said: “The Housing Executive works hard to maintain a good working relationship with councils and it is important this continues. 

“Our Housing Investment Plan has been informed by a range of stakeholders and was developed as a comprehensive conversation piece for the whole housing sector in Northern Ireland. 

“As the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland we have prepared this plan to inform the community planning partnership on the state of the housing market, on housing needs, the policy priorities and public sector investment proposals for 2015-19. 

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done to meet housing need, improve housing stock and provide support for the most vulnerable in our community. We at the Housing Executive will continue to play our part to ensure this work is delivered efficiently, effectively and judiciously.”

During 2015/16, in partnership with housing associations, 245 homes are under construction and a further 470 homes will start up to 2017/18. 

After the presentation Sharon Crooks, the Area Manager for South Antrim, commented: “Our teams in Rathcoole, New Mossley and Antrim town provide a high quality dedicated housing service to the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area. 

“They work alongside our Customer Services Unit, Accounts and Housing Benefit teams to provide our tenants and the wider community with an effective and efficient service.

“Last year we made a substantial financial investment in Antrim and Newtownabbey along with a contribution which cannot be measured in such terms but makes a significant impact on the local community. 

“I would like to extend my thanks to the councillors and officers of the Council for their support to the Housing Executive.  We look forward to continuing to work with them on matters of mutual interest in the coming year.”