Fold Housing Association is building much-needed homes for today and the capacity to support thriving communities for the future.
With more than 6,000 tenants in purpose-built housing, Fold Housing Association is one of the largest providers of high quality homes in Northern Ireland. Since 1976, it has supported some of the most vulnerable in society and met the highest standards in the provision of social and affordable housing.
As times have changed so too has Fold, broadening its role from simply meeting immediate housing need to meeting wider community need and offering a wide range of care and support services.
A commitment to deliver for tenants and the areas they live in underpins all aspects of the Association’s work. In housing development, the Association adopts a holistic approach that fully engages the communities in the planning of new homes and improvements to housing and relevant infrastructure in their area.
Last year, the Fold-led Greater Village Regeneration in South Belfast delivered a mix of new-build and newly refurbished housing, green spaces and park facilities that breathed new life and pride back into a deprived area. The positive impact has been impressive and has established a settled and thriving neighbourhood.
Fold’s long record of accomplishment in providing local people with innovative and flexible care and services has earned it a unique place at the core of communities. It is making a real and lasting difference for thousands of service users with complex and sensitive needs, ensuring the right level of support is available at all times.
The tailored care offered is essential for service users, both Fold tenants and those who choose to remain in their own home, to live freely with dignity and respect. In many instances, it keeps individuals connected to their families and friends and offers vital daily contact and an important way to remain socially active.
The Housing with Care service supports some of the most vulnerable people – including those with dementia, the frail and elderly – to live independently and as part of their communities within specialist accommodation. Trained staff and a range of regulated support facilities ensure all care schemes deliver the very best care and support for all residents.
There are significant changes ahead for the housing landscape and the Minister for Social Development has outlined his proposal for reform. Housing associations will be challenged to play a stronger role in shaping society in Northern Ireland and meeting the future needs of the population.
The opportunity and responsibility to drive change has not been lost on the management team at Fold. Already a recipient of the Department for Social Development’s highest rating (Substantial Assurance) for effective management and governance, the organisation is already rising to the challenge.
It has adopted an innovative approach in how it sources finance and subsequently uses the funds available. Fold’s development programme has been boosted by its ability to access private finance on the bond market and release housing grants from DSD while creative social contract clauses are helping to unlock employment opportunities and bridge skills gaps.
As a social enterprise, Fold is stretching beyond traditional boundaries and investing every penny towards building and maintaining much-needed quality homes while also creating jobs; improving health and well-being; regenerating run-down areas and building diverse thriving communities.
Fold Housing Association is not just building homes for today. It is proactively meeting the challenge of developing communities for the future.