Housing Executive to invest £9.5m

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THE Housing Executive will invest £9.5 million in Craigavon during the current financial year, it has revealed.

This is an increase on last year’s investment of £8 million with single-person households continuing to dominate the housing waiting list, according to south area manager, Lorraine Campbell.

Revealing the executive’s agenda for the coming months, Lorraine revealed: “At the end of March, 45 units of general needs accommodation were delivered by eight schemes in north Lurgan, Portadown and central Craigavon with a further nine schemes for general needs housing on site.

“The draft Social Housing Development Programme for 2012-2015 proposes six new schemes for 69 units of general needs housing.”

The number of people deemed homeless by the housing executive decreased from 307 in 2010-11 to 251 in 2011-12, while the authority pledged to invest over £2 million to help older people and those with disabilities living in the borough. The south area manager continued: “The Housing Executive will continue to work hard to provide services to support those faced with homelessness in the borough. The new Homelessness Strategy 2012-2017 will aim to eliminate long term homelessness and rough sleeping across Northern Ireland by 2020.

“This year the Housing Executive will invest £2.5m to help the most vulnerable people in the Craigavon Borough to continue to live independently. This is especially important for older people and people with disabilities. Existing funding delivers 32 supported housing accommodation based schemes as well as two floating support schemes in the Borough.”

The kitchen and windows replacement schemes are still ongoing with work currently planned to replace kitchens in 202 properties and replace windows in 160 homes. Lorraine added: “This year’s work programme includes external maintenance to 878 properties, replacement fire doors to 415 properties, kitchen replacements in 100 homes, heating replacement in 147 properties and 415 homes will have their windows replaced.”