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Joined: 09/03/2009
Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie MLA, today welcomed an investment of £21million for housing associations in Northern Ireland.<

The huge private sector investment, secured for the first time from the Housing Finance Corporation, will be split between Helm Housing Association, receiving £10million; North & West Housing Association, also receiving £10million and the Belfast Community Housing Association, receiving £1million.

Welcoming the important investment, Minister Ritchie said: “This is good news for those waiting for a house as it will help create new housing stock, thus reducing the waiting lists in Northern Ireland. In the Executive, I have repeatedly made the case for the need to put housing on a firm financial footing and this includes meeting a higher proportion of investment through private finance.

“Bond financing was a key issue from the British Irish Council housing meeting that I convened in Newcastle and I welcome the fact that housing associations, as a result of the work that I am leading on, have been successful in accessing this finance for the first time.”

The Department for Social Development supported housing associations in securing European Investment in 2009, with investment from the Housing Finance Corporation now complementing that borrowing.

Minister Ritchie added: “This latest private sector investment is a massive vote of confidence in the work of local housing associations and illustrates the benefits of jurisdictions on these islands working together. Accessing such competitive finance is another first for housing in Northern Ireland and I am determined that more innovation in housing finance lies ahead.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Housing Finance Corporation is an independent, specialist, not-for-profit organisation that makes loans to organisations such as Registered Social Landlords and housing associations that provide social and affordable housing to tenants throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.
  2. The Housing Finance Corporation funds itself through the issue of bonds to private investors and by borrowing from banks. Therefore acting as an aggregating financial intermediary, so diversifying risk for those who make funds available to the Housing Finance Corporation and reducing the cost and standardising the loan terms for those housing associations that borrow from them.
  3. Media enquiries to DSD Information Office on 028 9082 9496 or 07920 832 279. Out of office please contact Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.<