The first sod has been cut at a new social housing scheme which will provide 74 new homes for Ballymena.
The £8.5million Larne Road development is being funded by an investment of £4.4million from the Department for Communities, with a further £4.1million being provided by Choice Housing Association through private finance.
The 74 homes will accommodate 238 people when the development is completed in April 2018. The first phase of homes is expected to be handed over in September next year.
Communities Minister Paul Givan MLA, who performed the ceremony, said: “One of my key objectives as Housing Minister is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access good quality, affordable accommodation. When completed, this new development will do just that by providing 74 modern homes to people on the social housing waiting list in an area where there continues to be a high housing need.
“The Executive is proud of its record of delivering more social and affordable housing for the people of Northern Ireland, with delivery far exceeding the targets over the past five years. I will continue in this drive to deliver homes for those in need.
“This development in Ballymena is an example of that and the use of the former school site demonstrates how my Department, the NIHE and housing associations are working hard to utilise land in areas of need to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.”
Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive of Choice Housing said: “This important project will bring 74 high quality new homes for families of varying sizes in Ballymena. It is good news particularly for those who are on the waiting list and will help bring a new vibrancy to the Larne Road area. This is a site that we have worked hard to secure and we are grateful for the support received from the Department for Communities and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
“This is one of a number of new Choice developments that are at various stages of planning and construction across Northern Ireland. We’ve set ourselves ambitious targets over the next five years and are working in close partnership with local communities to bring about sustainable transformations that can support them to grow and flourish.”