As Radius Housing reaches the end of its first year of operation, CEO John McLean outlines the association’s journey so far and what we can expect to see in the year ahead.
With more than 1,000 staff who manage 12,000 properties in 80 towns across Northern Ireland at Radius, we are proud of the work we do to build and support communities and care for the elderly and the vulnerable. We manage over 200 housings schemes for families, individuals and those over 55. We also provide a range of care services, including daycare and supported living schemes for those with dementia, learning disabilities, drug and alcohol dependency and those who are homeless. Our innovative Telecare service means that those who are elderly and vulnerable and live alone have a dedicated point of contact on the phone 24/7.
Just this month, builders will move on site at the former Visteon site in Belfast, where we are investing £35 million in building 244 modern social and affordable homes and associated facilities. This development will play a huge role in reducing the level of housing stress in an area of considerable need. Across Northern Ireland in 2017/18 we started 492 new homes resulting in Radius currently having over 700 new properties under construction at the start of April in towns, cities and rural areas across Northern Ireland.
While social housing is a key part of what we do, at Radius we also recognise that providing affordable housing for young people is an equally important way to build and strengthen communities. We focus on the construction of contemporary homes built to the highest quality available for sale at prices which are affordable.
The first of Radius’ bespoke mixed tenure developments is at Fort Green, Rathgill, Bangor, where 20 of the 199 new homes have just been made available for sale as affordable/private houses. These attractive three bedroom semi-detached homes represent a fusion of heritage style and contemporary design that delivers a sophisticated home, perfect for the first time buyer or someone wanting to downsize.
The second development to offer affordable and private homes is Earls Court in Dungannon, which will see 11 properties for sale – five 4-bedroom and six 3-bedroom homes. Launching next month, families hoping to purchase high quality houses at an excellent price will have the opportunity to make that dream come true with these beautiful new homes, finished with exquisite contemporary design.
When Radius was formed in April 2017 following the merger of Fold and Helm Housing Association, part of the reasoning was to bring our expertise and financial strength for the benefit of all those living here. As well as tackling the housing problems in areas of acute shortage, such as west Belfast, we remain committed to developing and building affordable homes for those not eligible for social housing.
Our dedication to housing, care and our financial acumen – including our recently announced £50 million funding package from Barclays – means that Radius will continue to build for all of us who live here.
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