As a social landlord to around 85,000 properties the Housing Executive has countless happy tenants who have lived in its homes for many years, but this weekend we have a special lady who celebrates 66 years as a social housing tenant.
Margaret Gillan has lived in Armoy since the 1950s for over six decades, and still lives quite independently in her home. As well as celebrating her special 100th birthday with her last month, we also wanted to congratulate her as one of the Housing Executive’s longest tenancies on record.
Our top tenant grew up in Donegal and worked as a housekeeper in Derry~Londonderry before starting work in nearby Loughguile, where she met her husband and settled in Armoy. This weekend marks her 66th year as a social housing tenant, and we wish her many more comfortable years in her home.
The Housing Executive inherited the role of landlord when the functions of the public housing authority, the Housing Trust, were merged to create the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 1971.
Margaret’s daughter, Rita, was with her when we called out yesterday (Wednesday). She said: “Mum is an inspiration to us all. I am one of 10 children, we all grew up in this house and enjoyed living in this rural village in Antrim.”
Housing Executive Maintenance Manager Frankie McBride and local Noeleen Connolly called with Margaret again to congratulate her on her long tenancy and check out how she was managing her stair-lift, which the Housing Executive recently installed.
Margaret, who also celebrated her 100th birthday last month, is happier and more confident with the stair-lift in her home. She said: “I’m still getting used to the stair-lift, it is helpful.”
Frankie said: “It’s been a pleasure getting to know this lovely lady and her family over the years. She’s been an excellent tenant and we’re delighted that we could accommodate Mrs Gillan with a stair-lift in her home to help with mobility.”
The Housing Executive is very proud to have built and maintained thousands of homes for our tenants throughout the decades, many of whom have been in residence for well over 40 years.
Margaret, when asked what her secret to long life was, she said: “Working hard and keeping myself to myself.”