Work under way on £3m social housing project

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey (right) with Michael McDonnell of Helm Housing at the site of the new social housing scheme in Deerfin Park, Rathcoole. INNT 29-502CON
Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey (right) with Michael McDonnell of Helm Housing at the site of the new social housing scheme in Deerfin Park, Rathcoole. INNT 29-502CON

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey was in Rathcoole last week to visit the site of a new £3million social housing scheme.

The Minister was joined at the official launch of the 30-unit development at Deerfin Park by senior officials from Helm Housing and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Work is already under way at the new Helm Housing development, which will provide 18 semi-detached houses and 12 apartments for families and older people.

The two storey apartments, eight of which are designed specifically for active older people, are on schedule to complete in April 2016, with the family housing due to complete in August 2016.

“One of my key priorities is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access good quality, affordable accommodation appropriate to their needs,” the Minister commented.

“This is an excellent new housing scheme, with a well thought out mix of homes that will cater to a wide range of needs. It will make significant inroads into the waiting list in this area of high housing need.”

The total cost of the scheme will be in the region of £3million, with the Department for Social Development contributing £1.7million through the Housing Executive and Helm Housing £1.3million through private borrowing.

Mr Storey added: “Helm Housing is to be congratulated for all their work in putting together this impressive housing package. I also want to thank the Northern Ireland Housing Executive for contributing the surplus site.”

Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive of Helm Housing said: “The 30 new homes to be constructed here at Deerfin Park are a further demonstration of our commitment to building neighbourhoods and creating thriving, empowered communities.

“Helm Housing has and will continue to work closely with local community stakeholders and this development will build on that work as we play our part in delivering first class homes for over one hundred people.”

Welcoming the launch of the scheme, North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley said: “This development of 30 new social homes at Deerfin Park is to be warmly welcomed. My party colleagues and I have been working closely with Helm Housing to bring this scheme to fruition and the association are to be congratulated on the high specification of the design of the new homes.”

Ms Bradley stressed that she will continue pushing for further schemes to help meet the need for new build social housing in the Rathcoole area.