From old Manse to new ‘habitat’

Mid and East Antrim Mayor Lindsay Millar and Councillor Stephen Nicholl (right) helping out on site at the former Methodist manse.
Mid and East Antrim Mayor Lindsay Millar and Councillor Stephen Nicholl (right) helping out on site at the former Methodist manse.

Volunteers are supporting a community project which will see a former church manse transformed into homes for vulnerable young people.

Ballymena Methodist Church and Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland have teamed up to turn the former Methodist Manse on the Ballymoney Road into much needed multi-purpose community space and three one-bedroom apartments, which will provide affordable

Mid and East Antrim Mayor Lindsay Millar pictured outside the former Methodist church manse which is to be transformed into homes for vulnerable young people.

Mid and East Antrim Mayor Lindsay Millar pictured outside the former Methodist church manse which is to be transformed into homes for vulnerable young people.

accommodation for those in need.

Young people have been disproportionately affected by a lack of affordable homes and singles make up more than 50% of those in housing stress, according to the charity.

M&EA Councillor Stephen Nicholl was among those who turned out to lend a helping hand to clear the property.

He said those involved in the renovation particularly welcome anybody who can supply any materials for the refurbishment, as well as skilled construction workers and labourers.

Cllr Nicholl said: “It is an ideal location for these apartments and office spaces, and will provide much-needed housing for those who are currently facing challenges in their lives. My thanks to all of those involved in this project, including our Mayor Cr Lindsay Millar, who joined us at the site along with other council colleagues to help us clear the building and continue the work.”

Ballymena Methodist Minister Rev Dr David Rock said: “The congregation has been focused on how to best use the building in a way which enables the mission of the church to serve those in our community who feel isolated and excluded. Working with Habitat provides an opportunity to develop a community which will provide a safe, welcoming space to further develop our ‘Living Rooms’ project but also to include affordable accommodation to help young people. We hope the new space will be a useful resource for the whole community.”

To get involved contact Ballymena Methodist Church on 02825656693 or Michael Gray, Community Project Manager at Habitat NI on 02892635635.