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Social economy key

Published: Wed, 23 Sep 2015
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Launching the Housing Executive’s Social Housing Enterprise Strategy is Ethna McNamee, Invest NI; Clarke Bailie, Housing Executive Chief Executive; Alan Johnston, Development Manager of Monkstown Community Forum; Audrey Murray of LEDCOM, Housing Executive Chairman, Donald Hoodless and Housing Executive Director of Landlord Services, Gerry Flynn.
Ecos Centre
To economically vibrant communities
Developing economically vibrant and self-sustaining communities through social economy enterprises is at the heart of an innovative plan the Housing Executive launched today.
The Social Housing Enterprise Strategy 2015-2018 sets out our vision for investing in the creation of vibrant communities by financing and providing resource support to develop the local social economy and create community-owned social enterprises.
We have invested just over £400,000 in the first tranche and invites for investment applications open today, September 23rd. There are five levels of funding available ranging from education grants to established businesses.
By identifying opportunities for growth and encouraging more social entrepreneurship, we aim to improve health and well-being in its neighbourhoods and communities.
Speaking at the launch in the Ecos Centre in Ballymena, our Chief Executive, Clark Bailie, said:
“The Housing Executive has a proud record of supporting our local communities’ development and in assisting them to build safe, stable and cohesive neighbourhoods. Yet, we are conscious that our communities remain the most likely to be socially disadvantaged and excluded from the wider economy.
“Today’s launch is the first step in helping to transform our communities and the lives of the individuals and families living there through social enterprise. The impact will be increased inward economic investment, the creation of new and innovative development opportunities and the improvement of life chances.”
Our Chairman, Donald Hoodless, said:
“I am confident that our new role will enable us to build and grow locally owned and managed businesses that will bring real and sustainable benefits and change to local communities and their residents.
“We wish all of our communities well and hope that they will support our aims in building the local social housing economy and will bring forward their business ideas when we invite investment applications in the very near future.”
Alan Johnston, Development Manager of Monkstown Community Forum, said:
“Social enterprise not only assists community groups aspiring to sustainability but in Monkstown this model has enabled us to contribute to the building of infrastructure, capacity and resilience, in an area where historically horizons and opportunities have been limited.
“It is encouraging that the Housing Executive is actively promoting the Social economy model in areas of social housing to provide this prospect for other communities.”
Applications open on September 23rd 2015 and there are five levels of awards.
These include an Education Grant (up to £500); Business Start-Up Grant (up to £1000); Embryonic Business (up to £10,000); Emerging Business (up to £20,000) and Established Business (up to £50,000).
The first tranche of applications close on November 12th 2015, following which a decision will be made with the aim of making all offers by December 31st 2015.
For further information contact