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Plans outlined for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon

Published: Tue, 23 Aug 2016
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We outlined our plans for the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.
Castle Street, Armagh City
Our senior staff recently met with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to update it on our plans for the next four years and report on last year’s investment.
This was part of our annual consultation with local government.
The Housing Executive is due to make a significant investment during 2016/17 in the area. We will support the delivery of new homes as well as invest £21.4m million upgrading and maintaining our properties, support people to live independently, increase the energy efficiency of homes and provide grant aid in the private sector. Through our landlord and regional services last year we invested £22.76m in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.
During the meeting our staff highlighted many of the achievements we have made throughout Northern Ireland in the past year.  
Across Northern Ireland, the Housing Executive channelled some £81 million into services to help the most vulnerable which included £8.3 million on homelessness and £73 million through its Supporting People programme. In addition, there was a large planned maintenance programme delivered with work undertaken at 25,100 homes with a direct investment of £85.3 million in these homes.  
The private sector also received considerable support with £12 million spent through grants and over £15 million in tackling fuel poverty.
Speaking at the presentation to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Siobhan McCauley, our Director of Regional Services said:  
“The Housing Executive works hard to maintain a good working relationship with councils and it is important this continues. Our Housing Investment Plan was informed by a range of stakeholders and developed as a comprehensive conversation piece for the whole housing sector in Northern Ireland.  
“As the strategic housing authority for Northern Ireland we have prepared this plan to inform the community planning partnership on the state of the housing market, on housing needs, the policy priorities and public sector investment proposals for 2015-19.  
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done to meet housing need, improve housing stock and provide support for the most vulnerable in our community. We at the Housing Executive will continue to play our part to ensure this work is delivered efficiently, effectively and judiciously.”
Maintaining our housing stock is a priority for the Housing Executive and this year in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area we will spend nearly £11.07 million on planned and response maintenance to our homes. This will include outside maintenance work to 1,103 homes, the installation of kitchens in 407 homes, new heating for 373 homes, double glazing in 328 homes and the new style make-over where bathrooms and kitchens are being installed as well as an upgrade to the house’s electrics 109 homes.
In the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area the Housing Executive will also support those tenants who need help to live independently in their homes through the provision of adaptations. Last year we spent £596k on both major and minor works helping people live more comfortably in their homes.
During 2016/19, in partnership with housing associations, 182 new homes are planned for starting in 14 schemes.
The Housing Executive endeavours to support the most vulnerable members of society through its Supporting People Programme.  In 2016/17 we will invest almost £5.5m for housing support services. We currently fund 63 sheltered and supported housing schemes in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council as well as five floating support services.
We continue to contribute to the private sector through a variety of grants to help adapt homes to support people living in their own home for longer.  Last year we approved 123 disabled facilities grants and a small number of repair, discretionary grants and renovation grants with a value of over £1.6m.  
After the presentation Comghal McQuillan, South Region Manager, commented:
“Our teams in Armagh City, Banbridge and Lurgan provide a high quality dedicated housing service to the Borough Council area.  They work alongside our Customer Services Unit, Accounts and Housing Benefit teams to provide our tenants and the wider community with an effective and efficient service.
“Last year we made a substantial financial investment in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council along with a contribution which cannot be measured in such terms but makes a significant impact on the local community.  
“I would like to extend my thanks to the councillors and officers of the Borough Council for their support to the Housing Executive.  We look forward to continuing to work with them on matters of mutual interest in the coming year.”