Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has today cut the first sod at a new £6.5million shared social housing scheme at Ogle Street in Armagh City Centre.
The development is being provided by Ark Housing Association with support of £3.4million from the Department for Communities. The scheme is a ‘Housing for All’ project which promotes sharing and integration in housing.
The social housing scheme will deliver 42 homes including a mix of town houses and apartments, including wheelchair accessible accommodation to meet the housing needs of citizens.
Speaking at the event Minister Hargey said: “I have asked the department to begin the biggest reform of social housing in over 50 years. This includes building more homes, where they are needed. This new social housing scheme will provide much needed homes for families in housing need in the Armagh area. It reminds us too that homes make neighbourhoods and schemes like this create places where people want to live and to thrive as a community.
“When the transformational plan to make our housing system better was outlined, a key component was to improve housing, and to make sure there is a lot more of it. This Ogle Street scheme in Armagh demonstrates my commitment to delivering more homes through an ambitious housing programme consistent with New Decade New Approach. I want to build more homes that meet the needs of our society, now and in the future.”
Total scheme costs are in the region of £6.5million and will be financed through Department for Communities Housing Association Grant of £3.4million and private investment by Ark Housing of £3.1million. The scheme as part of the ‘Housing For All’ programme is also eligible for an additional £598,000 Good Relations funding. Ark Housing will roll out a strategic community cohesion plan over a five year period aimed at bringing people together.
Dr Deborah Donnelly, Ark Housing Chair said: “On behalf of Ark Housing Association, and our developing partners Ogle Street Investments, I was delighted to welcome DfC Minister Hargey, Lord Mayor Savage and NIHE Chief Executive Grainia Long to mark the official launch of this shared housing and mixed tenure residential development.
“Ark Housing achieved 232 new homes on site in the past 12 months in our drive to help meet social housing need, 42 of which are at Ogle Street. This success would not be possible without the support and financial assistance provided by DfC and NIHE and I would therefore like to thank Minister Hargey for her ongoing commitment to the Housing Association sector.
“My colleagues and I look forward to working with Ogle Street Investments on bringing this £6.5million project to completion by the end of 2023, and to working with the local community to ensure its long term sustainability through the delivery of our Shared Future Strategy.”