STRANGFORD MLA’s Simon Hamilton and Michelle McIlveen have visited a new social housing development in Ballygowan at the invitation of David Duly, Habinteg Housing Association Chief Executive.
The 14-unit scheme at the Brae called Blackwater Heights is the first new social housing development in Ballygowan for many years.
Commenting after their visit, Michelle McIlveen said, “Like a lot of towns and villages in our area, Ballygowan has a high demand for social housing which has been virtually impossible to address because of a low turnover rate and no new supply of housing. Blackwater Heights will address some of that need, allowing many local people to remain in or return to Ballygowan.
“The new homes are extremely impressive. They are stylish and spacious and would rival any private development anywhere. They have also been built to the Lifetimes Homes standard meaning that should the need arise, the house can be retrofitted easily for use by people with mobility issues.
“I am sure that those allocated homes in Blackwater Heights will be as impressed as I was and I hope that this is not the last in the area. Habinteg and their contractors and design team are to be congratulated for constructing such an excellent, innovative scheme”.
Simon Hamilton added, “I remember standing on the site of what is now Blackwater Heights almost four years ago as we tried to overcome some planning issues with the development. It is hard to believe that such a fantastic looking development could come out of what was such a derelict site at that time.
“Not only will the people allocated these homes be living in great looking properties but they will be living in a home with the highest possible energy efficiency standards, with Blackwater Heights fitted with, as standard, a complete renewable energy system including underfloor heating, solar water heating panels and whole house ventilation systems.
“This produces a really low carbon home, keeping tenants heating bills to a minimum which is important in these tight financial times. This sort of investment in cutting edge technology at the construction stage pays dividends for tenants for years to come”, he said.