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27/09/2021

£38.2 million invested in Derry and Strabane housing during pandemic 

£38.2 million invested in Derry and Strabane housing during pandemic 

£38.2 million invested in housing in the district over the last year

The large sum was invested in new-build accommodation in the city and district over the last year, which saw 1,082 units of housing get underway. 

Housing completions for the year were set at 207, meaning targets were met and exceeded for the year. 

A further nine million pounds has been granted to tackle homelessness in the country in the wake of the pandemic. 

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Chief Executive, Grainia Long, reflected on the unprecedented year. 

She said: “Covid-19 presented huge challenges for us, as we moved staff out of offices to work at home, while lockdown restrictions and supply issues meant a backlog in tackling repairs and delays in much needed upgrade schemes on our estates. 

“Despite this, and thanks to the dedication of our staff, we were able to continue to deliver services to tenants and communities to an extremely high level.” 

Over £130,000 in grant funding was also issued to support local groups in the District, Council area, across several funding streams, including community grants, community safety and community cohesion programmes. 

Long added: “In terms of homelessness, there were 2,084 homelessness presentations last year, with 1,146 homelessness acceptances. 

“Given the necessity to social distance in our hostels, this situation placed enormous pressure on temporary accommodation, and as we emerge from the pandemic our reset plan, The Way Home, has been fully funded by the Department for Communities.” 

In response to the challenges the Housing Executive faced as a result of COVID-19, they released a detailed report at the end of 2020. The Way Home initiative has received full funding, of nine million pounds, from the Department of Communities. 

This will help prevent rough sleeping, help create an adequate supply of temporary accommodation, and fund all homelessness services. 

On top of the funding in the district over the last year, the Minister of Communities has allocated a further £162 million to be invested in new social housing builds next year, across Northern Ireland. 

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