Girl online and hitch get acquainted



Girl online and hitch get acquainted



Girl online and hitch get acquainted




Plaque unveiling curtain hire

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS FOR AHOGHILL OLDER PEOPLES’ HOUSING

28 September 2018

People at Gloonan House independent living in Ahoghill came together with friends and family for dinner and dancing this week to celebrate their housing scheme’s 20th birthday.



Gloonan House, run by Clanmil Housing, provides 28 self-contained, easy to manage apartments for older people, along with security and an active lifestyle.

Sylvia Bell has lived at Gloonan House since it first opened in 1998.  She said:

“I really appreciate living in a place where there are always people close by and the building is secure.

“We have a great community spirit and we really benefit from being able to come together regularly to enjoy activities and company.  We all help each other and look out for each other on a daily basis.  It’s a very pleasant place to live.”

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil, said:

“Gloonan House is such a vibrant, friendly and welcoming place.  It’s great to be part of the 20th anniversary celebrations.

“There’s always something going on at Gloonan House for people to get involved in and the scheme is right at the heart of the local community.

“Gloonan House has been a great place to live for many people over the past 20 years and we at Clanmil are committed to ensuring that people continue to enjoy living here for many years to come.”

Clanmil Music in the Park

17 August 2018

Families living in the Dungannon area gathered at Dungannon Park on Friday 17th August for Clanmil Music in the Park. The event was organised by Clanmil Housing Association and supported by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) Ђ1.1m Peace IV project.

Clanmil Music in the Park was an opportunity for residents in the area from different neighbourhoods and backgrounds to come together and  take part in a day full of fun, games and exercise.  Activities included face painting, crafts, live music, a BBQ, fun run and karaoke competitions.



The event was part of the Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP) which is funded by the EU’s PEACE IV programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The aim of the project is to bring together tenants from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds to share experiences, learn about differences and embrace diversity in the communities in which they live.

Charlene McGrath, a resident of Millview Manor in Dungannon said, “The cross community fun day at Dungannon Park was brilliant. I came down with my family and there was so much to do. It was great to get talking to people from different backgrounds who live nearby.”

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing Association, said the event was a great opportunity for residents to get to know their neighbours, “We held the event hoping that people would come together and get to know each other in a fun and positive environment and it was a great success. Community building is important, and we’re delighted that some of those who came along to the event have signed up to be community champions of the PEACE IV project.”

The Housing Associations will deliver the project across 40 neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland, (10 in Clanmil) to create community capacity building through learning and development opportunities to support inclusion, participation and integration of our tenants.

Slemish Court Tenants Group strike Big Lottery gold

29 August 2018

A newly formed resident group in Ballymena has benefitted from a cash windfall after receiving a grant through the Northern Ireland Big Lottery’s Awards for All programme.

The Slemish Court Tenants Group have been awarded Ј4,035 by the programme to support their Slemish Court Growing and Activity Project.



People living at Slemish Court Independent living scheme in Ballymena were supported by Clanmil Housing to come together and form a tenant association so that they can apply for grants and access funding for a range of social, environmental and educational activities.

At their housing scheme they plan on using the funding to build a new greenhouse, complete with safety glass, a heater, shelving and trays, as many of the members of the residents group have a keen interest in gardening.



The remainder of the funding will be used for other social and educational activities such as purchasing an indoor bowling mat and equipment.

Robin Andrews, Chairperson of the Slemish Court Tenants Group said:

“We set up the Slemish Court Tenants Group so that we could have a united voice for the people that live here, along with a sense of belonging and purpose.

“We are delighted to have received this Big Lottery funding which will allow us to build a greenhouse and install a bowling kit. We hope that these activities will encourage an active lifestyle for the tenants here.

“As a tenant association we have also received funding from the Clanmil Community Fund, which helped fund a day out to the Ulster Museum in Lisburn.”

Austin Kelly, Community Cohesion Officer at Clanmil, assisted with the formation of the Slemish Court Tenants Group. He said,

“The greenhouse and activities delivered with the help of this funding will improve the health and wellbeing of people living at Slemish Court.

“Now that the group has the funding, the next step is to purchase the green house and the bowling equipment. We hope that everyone at the scheme will enjoy these new amenities.”

CLANMIL FIRST FOR FACTORY BUILT HOMES

28 August 2018

Clanmil Housing Group, one of Northern Ireland’s leading social housing providers, is working with one of the UK’S foremost off-site construction specialists, The McAvoy Group, to deliver much needed new homes using an innovative off-site housing solution that will see families move from the housing waiting list into new homes a year earlier than through traditional site-based construction.


Eugene Lynch, Managing Director of The McAvoy Group, Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil Housing and David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation in front of a prototype house at Clanmil's site in Carrickfergus, where Northern Ireland's first social homes will be delivered using an innovation off-site housing solution.

40 new homes on the site of the former Woodside’s Foodstore in Carrickfergus will be the first social homes in Northern Ireland delivered using off-site construction.

The Ј6.2 million housing scheme, a mix of family houses and apartments for active older people, is being built by Clanmil with the assistance of Ј3.1 million grant support from the Department for Communities.

The new homes, each made up of a number of steel-framed modules, will be manufactured and fully fitted-out by McAvoy in its Lisburn factory before being craned into position on site.  The modules will be delivered to the Carrickfergus site complete with kitchens, bathrooms, windows, flooring and decorated walls, ready to be brought together to create modern, high quality homes.

Using this state-of-the-art manufacturing solution, an entire house can be erected on pre-prepared foundations in a single day, ready for connection to gas, electricity and water supplies.

This modern method of construction will reduce the build time for the Carrickfergus development by 56 weeks compared to traditional site-based building methods, delivering 40 new homes in just 9 months.   It is also a more environmentally sustainable approach which provides energy efficient homes that are easy to heat and affordable to run for the families who live in them.

The new homes are scheduled to be ready for families in Spring 2019.

Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil said:

“There are currently 24,000 households in desperate need of homes across Northern Ireland.  We want to help get those families off the housing waiting list and into good homes as quickly as possible.  The rising cost of building materials and a labour skills shortage in the construction industry, compounded by uncertainty due to Brexit, makes this extremely challenging using traditional methods.  That’s why Clanmil has been looking at alternative ways to deliver social homes.

“The off-site manufacture of homes has many advantages – significant time savings, better build quality and improved health and safety due to factory production processes, and a much lower environmental impact both from manufacture and over the building’s entire life cycle.

“We see off-site construction as the future.  It could completely revolutionise house-building and we are delighted to be partnering with The McAvoy Group, a Northern Ireland company well known for its experience and expertise in modular construction for other sectors, on this its first residential project.”

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation joined Clanmil and McAvoy at the Joymount site.  He said:

“The UK's housing shortfall is only going to be addressed by radical innovation in building practices, such as modular housing.  This method of construction has real potential to help address the current housing shortage.

“In the UK, the Government sees off-site manufacture as a huge opportunity and has promised to support housing providers to build more homes in this way.  It is really exciting to see a Northern Ireland housing association and a Northern Ireland manufacturer working together to harness innovation that can deliver homes in up to half the normal time.”

The McAvoy Group has been delivering off-site solutions for the health, education, infrastructure and commercial sectors for almost 50 years.  The Joymount development is its first residential project.

Eugene Lynch, the Group’s Managing Director said:

“It is fantastic to see such a progressive provider of social housing as Clanmil who are looking at more innovative ways of delivering high quality homes, more quickly to address the housing shortage in Northern Ireland.

“This scheme is the first to use our new modular housing solution and successfully demonstrates its application for apartments, detached and semi-detached homes.  It also illustrates our capabilities as principal contractor.  We are not just supplying building modules to a pre-prepared site but are responsible for the full range of services for Clanmil – from preparation and clearance of this brownfield site to design, manufacture, factory fitting out, building installation, landscaping and infrastructure.  We look forward to creating a much needed and vibrant new community for this area.”

CLANMIL HOUSING GROUP APPOINTS NEW CHAIR

07 August 2018

The Clanmil Housing Group, one of Northern Ireland’s leading Housing Associations, has announced the appointment of Joy Scott as its Chair.

Joy, who has been a member of the Clanmil Board since 2012 and Vice Chair since 2014, has taken the top role at the Association, which provides almost 5,000 high quality social and affordable homes throughout Northern Ireland for families and older people.



Having worked for 30 years as a solicitor in the fields of property, not-for-profit organisations and banking, Joy is set to lead Clanmil through an ambitious three-year strategy focusing on growth, value for money and building strong neighbourhoods.

Announcing Joy’s appointment Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil, said:

“With high waiting lists for homes and recent changes to the welfare system many people are struggling more than ever to find a home and make ends meet.  As well as providing great homes, our focus is on helping the people who live in those homes to thrive.

“Joy has brought invaluable experience and insight to our Board that has helped us frame our strategic direction and I am very much looking forward to working with her as Chair to achieve Clanmil’s social purpose.”

Over the next three years, Clanmil plans to provide a further 1,200 much needed high-quality homes, as well as delivering on a strong commitment to engage with communities and a focus on services that customers need and value, while putting systems in place to help achieve this.

Joy said;

“I am looking forward to taking on this new role leading Clanmil through an exciting and challenging period of growth and change. It is my commitment that the Association will continue to work hard to make a difference in the lives of people living in Northern Ireland.

“I have no doubt that the year ahead will bring many challenges and risks but I am confident that with a strong Board, robust governance and the talented and committed people who work for Clanmil we will continue to deliver, as well as finding new opportunities and better ways of working.

“I am very aware in taking on this leadership role that many people depend on Clanmil for homes, services and wider community support.  I am committed to continuing to build on Clanmil’s significant track record - providing more homes, extending the reach of our services and increasing effective partnerships and strategic alliances.”

Joy takes over as Chair from Steve Amos.  During Steve’s four year tenure, Clanmil achieved significant growth, increasing the number of homes it provides from 3,500 to 4,600 homes, expanding its activities to include community development and investing Ј26m in ensuring its homes remain attractive to live in.

Consultation on future of House Sales Schemes

3 July 2018

The Department for Communities has launched a consultation on the future of House Sales Schemes in Northern Ireland.



Currently House Sales Schemes, which are Northern Ireland’s equivalent to the ‘Right to Buy’ Scheme in Great Britain, are available to all Northern Ireland Housing Executive tenants and Housing Association tenants. To date, 119,000 Housing Executive and 3,000 Housing Association properties have been sold to tenants over the past four decades.

The options for the future of the House Sales Schemes for all tenants in Northern Ireland, is part of the Department’s work to reverse the decision by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to reclassify Housing Associations as public bodies. The Department will use the result of the consultation to inform policy options and legislative proposals for an incoming Minister.

The Office of National Statistics looked at the level of control that Government has over Housing Associations to determine if their status should change from private to public. It concluded that the level of control Government currently exercises over Housing Associations merits the Associations being reclassified as public bodies. One aspect of this control is the House Sales scheme which obliges Housing Associations to offer their properties for sale to tenants in certain specified circumstances.

Housing Associations status as private entities means that they can source private finance, which along with Government grants, is the only way new social homes are currently built in Northern Ireland.  If Housing Associations were unable to access this private funding, this would reduce significantly the amount of money available each year to build new social homes.  

As part of the Consultation, a number of public events will be held as follows:

Tuesday 24 July – Skainos Centre, Belfast
Wednesday 25 July - NICVA, Belfast
Wednesday 1 August – The Braid, Ballymena
Wednesday 8 August – Seagoe Hotel, Portadown
Wednesday 15 August – Millennium Forum, Derry/Londonderry
Wednesday 22 August – Fermanagh House, Enniskillen
Wednesday 29 August – Canal Court Hotel, Newry

The consultation period will run from 3 July 2018 to 24 September 2018.
Details of the public events and the consultation documents can be found at: www.communities-ni.gov.uk/consultations/future-of-hss

Ђ1.1m Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP) Launches

05 July 2018

-Over 1000 social housing residents from 40 neighbourhoods to take part-

The Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP), a unique cross-border initiative aimed at promoting good relations across housing associations in Northern Ireland and the Border Regions, will be launched on Wednesday 4 July 2018 (10.45am) at Girdwood Community Hub, Belfast. The launch event will also feature a special appearance by Clanmil Community Choir.


Pictured are L to R Alan Shannon Chairperson of the Project Steering Committee, Richard Mealey Project Coordinator, Gina McIntyre Chief Executive SEUPB, Christine McCarron Clanmil Tenant

The Ђ1.1m project, which is funded by the EU’s Peace IV Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), will bring together social housing residents from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds to share experiences, learn about differences and embrace diversity in the communities in which they live.

The aim of Housing Associations Integration Project is to build, improve and sustain positive relationships with local people and their neighbours from different cultures and countries.

Alan Shannon, Chairperson of the Project Steering Committee for the Housing Associations Integration Project, discusses:  

“Peace IV funding has enabled us to secure Ђ1.1m of funding to deliver a significant cross-border social housing project, The Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP).

"It is the first initiative of its kind to cover Northern Ireland and the border counties and aims to promote good relations within and across housing associations. The project will be delivered by a new partnership involving four of Northern Ireland’s largest housing associations (Radius, Clanmil, Choice and Apex), TIDES Training, Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA), and the Irish Council for Social Housing.  

“The project partners have come together because of their combined scale, regional spread and their experience of promoting and working in good relations. We are looking forward to working with our partners and communities to deliver this exciting project."

Richard Mealey, Project Coordinator, Housing Associations Integration Project (HAIP),

"The Housing Associations Integration Project aims to support the development of cohesive communities, where residents respect diversity and recognise the value of differing viewpoints in a multi-cultural society. The cross-border dimension of the project is unique, and we look forward to working with the project delivery team in the coming months.”

The roll out of the project in to neighbourhoods will be a staged process consisting of: (1) Community Audit; (2) Community Capacity Building; (3) Cross Community/Cross Border Community Skills Workshops; (4) Bringing the Learning Back and (5) Sharing Best Practice.

Discussing how the project is developing, Mr Mealey continues:

“Nine community audits across different housing developments have already been conducted, with many more scheduled for the coming months. A total of 40 audits will form the basis, understanding and rationale for all future cross community activity.

“It is envisaged that over 1000 tenants from 40 neighbourhoods will take part in community building programmes and skills workshops by August 2020. A number of study visits are also scheduled, and we are looking to develop a range of new community-based partnerships which will provide an important channel for residents to meet regularly and share ideas."

Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body said:

“The EU’s PEACE IV Programme has been designed to encourage positive relationships between people from all communities. Unfortunately this region has been left with deeply engrained issues associated with social segregation, as a result of the troubles/conflict. By improving cross-community relations in up to 40 different social housing areas across Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland this innovative project will help to reinforce peace and stability.
 
“The project will also deliver a bespoke good relations training programme for up to 200 people, on both sides of the border, with the hope that many of these individuals will go on to become ‘community champions’, delivering positive change in their local areas.”

Christine McCarron, a tenant with Clanmil Housing Association states: “Having lived in a similar social housing environment, I completely relate to the aims of the Housing Associations Integration Project and I’m delighted to see that the team will be working with residents across Northern Ireland and the border counties. They are working to build a better society and I feel this initiative will have a huge impact on helping to bring communities together.  It is important to be able to live and work well within any community”.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Housing Associations Integration Project can contact Richard Mealey, NIFHA (Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations) Tel: 028 90897 698 or or www.haiptogether.org

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Clanmil’s Big Picnic events proves a great success

25 May 2018

Clanmil Housing Association held a number of Big Picnics throughout schemes across Northern Ireland during the first week of June as part of the Eden Project’s annual Big Lunch initiative.



People living at Independent Living and Supported Housing schemes in Portrush, Coalisland, Newtownstewart, Cookstown, Belfast, Lisburn, and Londonderry hosted the picnics along with friends and family to enjoy some good weather, food, friendship and fun.  Spirits were high at the schemes which featured attractions such as photo booths, crafts, music and interactive circus performers.


The Big Lunch, made possible by the National Lottery, has been running since 2009 and is the brainwave of the Eden Project, a social enterprise that aims to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping build more resilient and better connected communities.

Janet McCloskey, who lives at Abercorn Court in Portrush, said she had a brilliant day:

“Our Big Picnic was excellent. It was great to see everyone getting together and having a good time and there was such a feel good factor all day.  Events like this really strengthen the community and I’m already looking forward to next year.”

Tim O’Malley, Clanmil’s Community Development Manager said:

“The idea behind The Big Lunch is that great things happen when you bring people together. We hope that bringing our tenants and their friends and families together over food, to share conversation and build lasting bonds, will help increase the sense of pride and belonging in where they live, helping to creating connections and inspiring them to make a positive difference in their local area - all of which will help make the community stronger and happier.”

Grainne McCloskey NI Manager – Eden Project Communities

“We are delighted Clanmil brought The Big Lunch idea to their neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland as part of their investment in strengthening communities.

This simple idea from the Eden project made possible by National Lottery invites neighbours to get to know each other better. We know that kindness and good neighbourly relations can make a massive difference to the epidemic of loneliness and all it takes is for a few friendly people to start the ball rolling by inviting neighbours to join them in a Big Lunch.”

New Glengormley Homes Underway

18 May 2018

New Glengormley Homes Underway

Work has started on the construction of 48 much needed new homes at Carnmoney Road in Glengormley.



The Clanmil Housing Group will fund the Ј6.6 million development with the assistance of grant support from the Department for Communities.

The development, which will provide 6 apartments and 22 houses for families along with 20 apartments for active older people, is scheduled to be completed and ready for handover to people on the housing waiting list late 2019.

The new homes will benefit from a heat recovery system, double glazing and high levels of insulation, helping to reduce heating costs and making them efficient to run for the people who will live in them.   They have been designed to the Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards.

Landscaped green space is also being provided at the heart of the development.

Construction of the new development is being undertaken by Draperstown based M J McBride Construction Ltd.

Carol McTaggart, Group Director of Development at Clanmil said:

“At Clanmil we believe that everyone should have a good home and we are delighted to see work progressing here at Carnmoney Road. We currently have 930 homes on site throughout Northern Ireland and we’re keen to build more.  We would love to hear from anyone who has, or knows of, a potential development site that could help us deliver more new homes where they are needed.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming new tenants to Carnmoney Road and are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have worked with us to bring the project to this stage. It’s great to have some of them join us on site today to celebrate the beginnings of this new neighbourhood.”

Dungannon Tigers Score Community Grant

10 April 2018

Young footballers in Dungannon are being encouraged to spend their evenings training with local club Dungannon Tigers, thanks to a Ј1,000 grant from the Clanmil Community Fund.

The Community Fund has been set up by Clanmil to support voluntary and community organisations working to develop local people’s social and employability skills, help them create safe communities with positive environments and improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.


The Dungannon Tigers U21 Team, featuring four players signed from Midnight Soccer training scheme.

The funding has helped the club launch a 10-week Midnight Soccer training programme, providing a positive activity for young people in the evenings.  Through the programme young people receive valuable life coaching as well as football coaching. The programme is also good for cross community relations, with young people from a variety of backgrounds taking part.

Niall Murray, Chairman of Dungannon Tigers said, “We are delighted to have received funding from the Clanmil Community Fund. Thanks to the fund, we’ve been able to introduce a successful training scheme aimed at bringing young people from all communities together to play football and grow as adults.  It’s great to see some of the young people who have taken part in the training progressing to play for our U21 team.”

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil said, “Through our Community Fund, we invest in initiatives that strengthen communities and empower individuals. By funding projects like this we are helping people start up their own projects based on the needs and interests of their community.  This has a positive impact upon the wellbeing of all involved and the support network for people in our communities.”

Dungannon Tigers is a relatively new football team competing in the Mid Ulster Football League. They have progressed quickly through the leagues and now have first and reserve teams featuring U21 players who have taken part in the Midnight Soccer programme.

If you are interested in applying for funding through the Clanmil Community Fund find out more at www.clanmil.org.uk

AWARD RECOGNISES CLANMIL’S APPROACH TO WORKPLACE EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

13 April 2018

Clanmil Housing has been named Best Employer for Diversity and Equality in Northern Ireland (large company) at 2018’s Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards.

The awards, which were announced on 23 March at Titanic Belfast, provide companies with an opportunity to showcase their commitment to advocating equality and diversity in their organisations.  They are organised by Legal-Island, a local independent multi-award-winning workplace compliance company, in association with NICVA and sponsored by Diamond Recruitment Group and Jones Cassidy Brett. Private sector (SMEs and large employers), charities, not for profit organisations and public sector bodies were all eligible to apply.


Pictured are (l-r) Barry Phillips, Chair of Legal-Island, organisers of the awards, Karen Gilmore and Bernadette O’Donnell from Clanmil Housing Association.
The judges were impressed by Clanmil’s creative approach to delivering equality and diversity initiatives to meet the needs of both their employees and the community, particularly the activities that celebrated their 40th anniversary, where ten community good deeds were organised to celebrate the positive impact of diversity in the community
 
Congratulating all of the winners and highly commended entrants, Barry Phillips, Chair of Legal-Island, said: “This year’s Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards have been a great success.  They recognised that organisations such as Northern Ireland Office, Clanmil Housing Association, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, Pinsent Masons and the NOW Group are pioneering new standards of equality and diversity practices and driving the diversity agenda in Northern Ireland. The awards also provide a wonderful opportunity for sharing best practice and acknowledging the efforts of staff that are working consistently to further organisational objectives in this area.”
 
Barry Phillips added: “There are legal requirements associated with equality and diversity due to the importance of the issue.  However, it is essential that employers view equality and diversity as much more than just a legal tick box exercise. Valuing diversity and recognising the multi-faceted benefits that it brings will help businesses and organisations to thrive.  Driving diversity in the workplace will help drive it into the community outside too. This can only be good for Northern Ireland.”
 
Legal-Island, which is headquartered in Antrim, is the go-to place for expert workplace compliance. It helps HR professionals understand employment law and how it applies to their workplace.
 
Award sponsor, Tina McKenzie, Group Managing Director for Diamond Recruitment’s parent company Staffline Group, congratulated all the entrants:
“I think it is extremely positive that so many companies have entered the awards this year. That in itself serves as an indication that they recognise the importance of equality and diversity. We live in a global market with our local companies competing on a global scale so Northern Ireland is increasingly becoming recognised as having highly skilled people in a range of specialist areas. 
 
"Employers need the right person with the right skillset to help them deliver their organisational objectives, and that means having a diversity of skills, perspectives and backgrounds in their teams.  They value diversity and the Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards are a fantastic channel for recognising what employers are doing to maintain an equal and diverse workplace. The awards also allow the wider community to celebrate in the success of individuals, groups and companies."
 
Award sponsor Jones Cassidy Brett, a niche employment law firm based in Belfast, which is renowned for its expertise in employment and equality law, remarked on the innovation within the winning applicants: "We are seeing employers being creative and consultative in relation to equality and diversity. They are speaking to their employees, drawing on best practice and establishing programmes and activities that support their staff and meet the legal requirements. It's really encouraging to see. Well done to all the applicants."

Gala Awards Celebrating Women’s Achievements in Trades and Employability Skills Training

13 April 2018

The annual WOMEN’STEC Gala Awards took place at Belfast City Hall to celebrate and showcase the achievements of women in non-traditional skills training.

In excess of 200 students participated on the Supporting People - Empowering Communities (SPEC) programme over the year, which is run in partnership with Clanmil Housing Group and part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and Department for the Economy.


Pictured at the Women’s Tec Gala Awards 2018 event are (l-r): Sinead O’Regan (Belfast City Council), Colette Moore (Clanmil Housing Group), Maria Bradley (Gilbert-Ash Ltd), ICT Award Winner 2018 - Helen Orr, Lynn Carvill (Women’s Tec),  Carpentry Award Winner - Catherine McCoy and Student of the Year 2018 - Jess Geddis.

Participants have gained 216 qualifications over the year in courses such as plumbing, carpentry, painting and decorating, electrics, horticulture, information technology and first aid, helping to equip them for the world of work.  The programme has received resounding support from the construction industry and partner organisations, and is backed by leading construction firms Gilbert-Ash Ltd and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.

Lynn Carvill, Chief Executive of WOMEN’STEC stated, “It is with great pleasure that we recognise the hard work of our students at the event today.  Many of these women have overcome considerable barriers to take part in our courses.  With the shortage of skills and the under-representation of women in the construction sector, with an industry average of around 13.4%, our training programmes are invaluable.


Clanmil resident, Ana Semedo, gives an inspirational talk at the WOMEN’STEC Gala Awards about her plans to start her own business.

“Through the SPEC programme, part funded by Belfast City Council and private sector organisations, Gilbert-Ash Ltd construction group and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd, training schemes for more than 500 participants who face difficult barriers to employment and training have been provided over the past three years.”

Clanmil Housing Group, Chief Executive, Clare McCarty says, “Through the SPEC programme our tenants are gaining confidence, new skills and qualifications, as well as developing new friendships with their neighbours – so important in creating sustainable communities.  Tenants have been really enthusiastic about the courses and are finding them enjoyable and rewarding.”

Clare continues, “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with WOMEN’STEC and have seen some very positive results. We recognise how SPEC engages people to give something back to their community and we’re delighted that the Electrics Student Award this year went to Mandy Morrison, one of our tenants, for excelling in her course work. It was also wonderful to hear from another of our tenants, Ana Semedo, who gave a really inspirational talk at the event about how she is working towards her personal goals of opening up her own business, and the invaluable support that has been provided by staff from WOMEN’STEC and Clanmil.”

The Student of the Year Award was presented by Carmel McKinney of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service to Jess Geddis who completed an accredited Carpentry course and personal development courses. Carmel stated, “I am delighted to see an increasing number of women interested in learning non-traditional skills and I’m delighted that Jess is keen to progress and improve her skills and has been working part-time using what she has learned from the course. Jess, like many of her peers, has overcome a range of barriers to pursue new learning opportunities and she has
succeeded in taking on new challenges. She is a real inspiration.”

Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director of Gilbert-Ash Ltd says, “We are pleased to be able to partner with WOMEN’STEC. Two of the main issues in the construction sector are the shortage of skills and the under-representation of women. Our workforce is currently 21% female, well above the industry average, and we are continuing to work proactively to raise the profile of construction as an industry of choice for everyone.”

Councillor Mairйad O’Donnell, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said, “The work of WOMEN’STEC fits with the Council’s Belfast Employability and Skills Framework and Action Plan and its aims to address employability and skills challenges in the city. The Gala Awards at City Hall can help raise the profile of women and construction as an industry of choice.”

Caffrey Hill Clubs grab new gear with Community Grant

10 April 2018

Participants of the Crochet Circle and Art Club at Clanmil Housing’s Caffrey Hill development on the Glen Road in Belfast have benefitted from funding provided by Clanmil through their Community Fund.

The Community Fund has been set up by Clanmil to support voluntary and community organisations working in communities to develop local people’s social and employability skills, help them create safe communities with positive environments and improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.



The Caffrey Hill Crochet Circle and Art Club were set up about a year ago by residents with the aim of giving people somewhere to relax, socialise with friends and forget about the stresses of life for a few hours.

A total of Ј750 was awarded to the two clubs. The Art Club has used the funding to purchase paint, canvasses, brushes and other art equipment, while the Crochet Circle has bought starter crochet kits for newcomers to the group.

Over the past months the Crochet Club have been actively helping the community by making twiddle muffs for dementia patients and hats for babies in the baby unit in the Royal Hospital.

Elishia, who started the Crochet Club at Caffrey Hill said, “We’re delighted the Art Club and Crochet Cirlce have benefitted from the Community Fund. This will make it possible for even more people to come down to Hub West and enjoy some “Creative Therapy”. People with all kinds of stresses and worries regularly enjoy the chance to unwind for an hour or so which is really good for mental health.”

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil said, “Through our Community Fund, we invest in initiatives that strengthen communities and empower people. By funding projects like the Caffrey Hill Crochet Circle and Art Club we are helping people start up their own projects based on the needs and interests of their community.  This has a positive impact on the wellbeing of all involved and helps build support networks in our communities.”

If you are interested in applying for funding through the Clanmil Community Fund, find out more on at www.clanmil.org.uk

Abercorn Court Valentine’s dinner date with Barnardo’s

19 February 2018

Kind hearted staff and tenants at Clanmil Housing’s Abercorn Court, Cramsie Court and Hezlet Court housing schemes for older people in Portrush, Ballymoney and Coleraine came together for Valentine’s Day dinner and raffle on Tuesday 13th February to help raise much needed funds for Barnardos Northern Ireland.


Fiona Milnes, scheme coordinator with Barnardo’s NI representatives Catherine Clarke, Volunteer Natalie Thompson and scheme staff and tenants of Abercorn Court.

The event helped raise Ј374.00 which will be used by Barnardo’s to care for children through councelling, fostering and respite care.

Barnardo’s is a charity that works with young carers, children of prisoners, young people vulnerable to sexual exploitation, ethnic minority families, families where there is domestic violence, addiction or mental health issues and children who have been bereaved.

Fiona Milnes, Scheme Co-ordinator at Abercorn Court, who helped organise the event, said: “We had a lovely night.  It’s great to get together with friends and neighbours and fundraise at the same time.

“At Clanmil we believe in promoting active ageing and events like this help people at our independent living schemes stay busy and involved as well as raising money for a very worthwhile cause.  The money we raised will help Barnardos carry out their mission aim and continue to provide support to vulnerable children.”

Abercorn Court, Cramsie Court and Hezlet Court are housing schemes for people over 60 which provide tenants with the support they need to stay independent as they grow older, offering security, friendship and an active lifestyle in a mix of self-contained flats and bungalows.

Stronge Court Strikes Gold with Lidl Grant

19 February 2018

A newly formed resident group in Portadown has struck lucky in a funding competition run by supermarket chain Lidl.

The Stronge Court Senior Group have been awarded Ј1,000 by Lidl as part of the Lidl Community Works project. 


The residents of Stronge Court have benefited from a donation of Ј1,000, as part of the Lidl Community Works programme. Pictured at the event are members of the development’s senior group and front left are Marius Zaicevas, deputy manager, Lidl Portadown, and Nigel Telford, chairman of the senior group.

People living at Stronge Court independent living scheme in Portadown were supported by Clanmil Housing to come together and form a tenant association so that they can apply for grants and access funding for a range of social and educational activities.

Through their tenant association they also benefit from having a united voice along with a joint sense of belonging and purpose.

Nigel Telford, Chairperson of Stronge Court Seniors Group said:

"Our scheme co-ordinator Marian noticed the advertisement for the Lidl Works Community project while she was doing her shopping and helped us to apply.

"We are delighted to have received this funding which will provide all of us here at Stronge Court with an opportunity to become involved in a range of social activities and educational programmes tailored to our needs and interests."

The Community Works project, which is in its 4th year, was set up to by Lidl to positively contribute to the communities in which it serves and operates by providing funding to groups and projects they feel deserve extra support. A grand total of Ј228,000 has been awarded so far.

Customers at the Lidl store in Portadown chose Strong Court Seniors Group as one of the local groups to benefit from the funding.

Conor Boyle, Regional Director at Lidl Northern Ireland said:

"At Lidl we value the opportunity to engage first hand with local communities around Northern Ireland who support us every day, and the Community Works initiative has enabled us to do just that. Over the past four years, we've witnessed the incredible work that groups like Stronge Court Seniors do, and being able to offer something back to them is a true privilege."

Austin Kelly, Community Cohesion Officer at Clanmil, assisted the tenants with the formation of the Stronge Court Seniors Group.  He said:

"This funding will help the Group deliver activities to improve the health and wellbeing of people living at Stronge Court.

"Now that we have the funds we'll be able to set about creating a programme of events and initiatives that everyone living at the scheme will really enjoy and benefit from."

Work Completed on New Gainsborough Drive Homes

6 December 2017

Families have recently moved into ten much needed new homes at Gainsborough Drive in North Belfast, delivered by Clanmil Housing Group with the assistance of grant support from the Department for Communities.
 
The Ј1,000,000 scheme, on a site formerly occupied by Northern Ireland Housing Executive homes, was constructed by Dungannon based contractor QMAC Construction Ltd and comprises ten two bedroom terraced houses.
 
The new homes are highly insulated, helping to reduce heating costs and making them efficient to run for the families who will live in them.   They have been designed to the Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.
 
Courtney Mason, who recently moved into her new Gainsborough Drive home, is delighted;
“I’m so glad to move into my new home, especially just before Christmas – it’s like an early present. I’m excited for our first Christmas here thanks to Clanmil. The house is really warm and cosy which is great in the cold weather we’ve been having recently. ”
 
Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil said:
“At Clanmil we believe that everyone should have a good home and we are delighted to see families settling in here at Gainsborough Drive.
 
“These new homes mean that this winter ten families from the waiting list have been able to move into warm, easy to run homes.  We are very grateful to the local community and to their political representatives who have supported us on this project. “
 
Welcoming the new development, local MLA William Humphrey said:
“The DUP welcomes the completion of the new properties at Gainsborough Drive -this is good news.  We continue to lobby for good quality housing in the area.  We are pleased that new properties have been completed in Gainsborough, Fortwilliam Parade and Hallidays Road.  We look forward to a new development of 20 new houses in Hogarth Street, commencing in January.
“We have recently met with the Housing Executive and local Housing Associations, regarding the redevelopment of waste ground at Gainsborough, Alexandra Park Avenue, North Queen Street, Crosscollyer and the former Grove Primary School site.”

Calvin’s Ballyriver Walk Tops Clanmil Comp

8 November 2017

Clanmil Housing recently approached primary school students in the Ballynahinch area to take part in a competition to name its new family housing development on Dromore Street in the town.
 
Pupils from St Patrick’s Primary, Ballynahinch Primary and Drumlins Integrated School took up the challenge to find an original name that reflects the area surrounding Dromore Street.


(L-R) Principal of St Patrick’s PS Ballynahinch, Clanmil development officer Pauline Johnston, competition winner Calvin Rice and runner up Tiarnan Quinn
 
The pupils came up with many innovative and creative suggestions.  The winning name, “Ballyriver Walk” was suggested by Calvin Rice from St Patrick’s Primary School referencing the river that runs through the town.
 
Calvin won an iTunes voucher for his creativity in naming the scheme.  Runners up Tiarnan Quinn, also from St Patrick’s Primary School, Amy McMaster, of Ballynahinch Primary School, and Andrew Kelly, of Drumlins Integrated also received vouchers for their efforts. The vouchers were provided by Clanmil and their contractor, Kelly Brothers Ltd.
 
Over Ј3 million has been invested in the new development, including Ј1.2 million in grant support from the Department for Communities.
 
The new development includes 24 contemporary apartments, a retail unit, private roof terraces, on-site parking for tenants and some garages.
 
Work on the new homes has finished ahead of time, and they have already been handed over to tenants.
 
Pauline Johnston, Clanmil Development Manager, presented Calvin with prize.  She said:
 
“We are delighted by the interest the children have shown in our development and very impressed by the standard and range of names suggested.  Calvin has come up with the perfect name for the scheme and we’re delighted to see families settling into these lovely new homes.  We hope they have a very merry Christmas at Ballyriver Walk and many more happy years to come.”

Clanmil Top for Social Impact for Second Year

09 November 2017

Clanmil Housing’s Social Impact has been recognised for the second year running at the Social Enterprise NI Awards.

Social Enterprise NI, an organisation promoting and supporting social enterprises across Northern Ireland, hosted the Social Enterprise NI Awards on Friday 27 October at The Stormont Hotel, Belfast. The awards, presented by UTV’s Paul Clark, recognised and celebrated excellence in social enterprise and the outstanding achievements of social entrepreneurs to deliver social impact.



Clanmil was named winner again this year in the Social Impact category for its approach to demonstrating and communicating its impact.
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil said:
“We are delighted that Clanmil’s Social Impact has been recognised in this way and truly honoured to win this award two years in a row.
“It is important that we understand the impact of our community initiatives on the wellbeing of our tenants.  Our money advice service, opportunities for employment and training and community capacity building programmes, delivered with a range of partners, help our tenants and communities thrive.  We measure our social impact using a wellbeing-valuation model developed by the Housing Association Charitable Trust which allows us to identify where we can achieve the best value for money and maximum benefit through our work.”

Colin Jess, Director of Social Enterprise NI said:
“We were overwhelmed by the interest in this year’s awards, with 300 guests attending, made up of social enterprises themselves, and also a large number of interested parties and stakeholders from the private, public and educational sectors along with a number of MLA’s.  It is great to see the passion, energy and enthusiasm within the room. More and more public and private sector organisations are keen, and willing, to understand the social enterprise business model.  We look forward to increasingly working with all sectors and political parties to continue this momentum and to position the social enterprise sector as a strong contributor to the mainstream NI economy.”

Clanmil Courts celebrate new Common Rooms

03 November 2017

People living at Clanmil Housing’s Abercorn Court in Portrush and Barbour Court in Enniskillen are celebrating the completion of major refurbishment projects at their housing schemes.

Clanmil has just finished upgrades at the independent living schemes involving an investment of a combined Ј530,000.  The project included cleaning and repainting the outside of the buildings, interior redecoration of shared spaces within the schemes and modern new kitchens in all apartments. A brand new hairdressing salon has also been installed with washing and styling units in Abercorn Court.


June Abraham and Avril Dunlop in the refurbished tenants’ lounge with Clanmil Housing staff  Sinead Murphy, Linda McElroy and resident Patricia Ormsby
The final piece of the puzzle was the refurbishment of the tenants’ lounge areas creating a bright, modern and comfortable space where tenants can socialise together.

Tenants and staff came together in the new lounges at both Abercorn Court and Barbour Court to celebrate the successful completion of the projects, with Abercorn Court having a spooky Halloween themed party.


Clanmil staff and people of Abercorn Court, Portrush got together for a Halloween themed party to break in their new common room.

Mrs Avril Dunlop, who has lived at Barbour Court for the past 21 years and is a former scheme co-ordinator there, is delighted with the refurbishments. She said:
“I think the new renovations are great. With the lounge back in operation we can start planning lots of different events and activities that will really make the most of this lovely room.”
Mr John Cochrane, who lives at Abercorn Court, added:
“They’ve done a great job with the lounge. Details like the new fireplace, radiator covers and the lovely window shutters make it look more like a hotel than a housing scheme.  The New England theme really ties the place together.  I think this space will help us keep a real sense of community going here.”
Tony Giffen, Clanmil’s Group Director of Assets said:
“At Clanmil we pride ourselves on the homes we provide and invest in maintaining them and making them as safe, secure, warm and attractive as possible for the people who live in them.
“By working positively with us our tenants can help us deliver the best possible results when we’re upgrading, so we really appreciate the time the tenants at Abercorn Court and Barbour Court have committed to this project and their patience during the refurbishment work.”

Mayor Welcomes New Greyabbey Residents

26 October 2017

Councillor Robert Adair, Mayor of Ards and North Down, has welcomed families who recently moved into new homes at Clanmil Housing’s new Rosemount Mews development in Greyabbey.


Cllr Robert Adair visited Rosemount Mews with Clanmil Housing’s Siobhan Graham and Colleen Quinn. Photograph courtesy of the Newtownards Chronicle
 
The new housing scheme provides 8 two bedroom detached and semi-detached houses and 2 apartments. The development, a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Northern Irish rural village with long, narrow buildings, was designed to reflect the existing character of Greyabbey.
Councillor Adair said;
“This exciting new development by Clanmil Housing in Greyabbey has addressed the need for housing and transformed the derelict site of the former Rosemount Arms into a fantastic family housing development.”
 
The new homes have been built to high energy-efficiency standards and to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards which ensure added security and ease of adaptation if required at a later date.
Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing Group, Clare McCarty said;
“It is wonderful to see these families settling in and making the homes their own.  We wish them all many happy years at Rosemount News.”
 
Clare added: “We are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have supported us throughout the development of this scheme.  We look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that Rosemount Mews is a great place to live.”
 
The new homes have been built by the Clanmil Housing Group with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Communities.
 

Celebrating Blooming Marvellous Gardens at Clanmil

12 October 2017

Tenants are celebrating their recent success in a Northern Ireland wide gardening competition run by local housing association, Clanmil Housing Group.

The competition is run each year by Clanmil to acknowledge and reward those tenants who take a keen interest in keeping the green spaces around their homes looking the very best they can.  It also gives tenants with green fingers and a passion for gardening a chance to showcase their handiwork.

 

Residents were presented with their awards by Clanmil Chief Executive, Clare McCarty at a special celebration at The Braid in Ballymena.  The event provided an opportunity to highlight all of the hard work that goes into making the gardens at Clanmil housing schemes look first class.


Winners on the day included Somme Park in Derry/Londonderry, where residents won the Grow Your Own category for their vegetable plot, Abercorn Court in Portrush which won best Independent Living Scheme garden, Hezlet Court in Coleraine which won the participation award and Glenshesk Court in Ballycastle who took the top prize for most innovative garden.  Felden in Newtownabbey was named Best Overall Family Development and Newtownabbey resident Colette Goodall won Best Individual Gardener.  The top accolade of Overall Winner went to The Imperial independent living scheme in Donaghadee.     


Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil, said;

“We really appreciate the interest that so many of our tenants show in their gardens and the time, hard work and effort that they dedicate to making them look so well. 

“Each year the number and standard of Clanmil in Bloom entries increase, and this year the judges had a really hard job choosing winners from over 50 gardens. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to the many people who helped create and maintain the winning gardens.”




Charities call for Supporting People funding to be reinstated

3 October 2017

A coalition of volunarty and charitable organisations has called on the Housing Executive to reinstate funding to all providers of a housing support programme that helps vulnerable people in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.


Local political representatives visited Templer Court to hear about essential services funded by Supporting People programme

Each year, the Supporting People (SP) programme assists more than 1,380 people in the council area to live independently and avoid problems that can result in hospitalisation, institutional care or homelessness. More than Ј74 million worth of services are delivered across Northern Ireland through 100 SP providers.

Earlier this year, NIHE implemented a five percent funding reduction across all SP schemes, putting the viability of many schemes at risk. In recent weeks, the Department for Communities gave NIHE a one-off Ј2.6million allocation to the programme, however there is no certainty that all affected providers will be reimbursed for their financial loss and any monies received will be cut again in April 2018.

Ricky Rowledge, co-Chair of Committee Representing Independent Supporting People Providers (CRISPP) said:
“This is a partial and temporary in-year reinstatement that does not cover the full scale of the budget reduction. While any reprieve is welcomed, service providers will again be facing a five percent budget reduction in six months’ time. A decision on how this stopgap funding will be allocated is expected at the end of October but there is no assurance that funding will be returned to all organisations that have had their budgets reduced.

“We are urging the Housing Executive to reinstate the funding immediately to all providers. We are up for reform and want to work in partnership with the Housing Executive and Department for Communities to deliver a strategic remodelling of the programme.””

Brendan Morrissey, Supported Living Manager at Clanmil Housing, which operates Templar Court in Lurgan said:
“Supporting People has been an immense success for this area, enabling thousands of people to sustain their accommodation and live with as much independence as possible. However, increasing costs and reductions in annual funding are impacting on the long-term quality and viability of many services. The quality of life for thousands of vulnerable people depends on this programme and it must be properly resourced to remain effective and continue delivering strongly.”

Ben Collins, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations said:
“Funding reductions will have a profound and expensive long-term legacy. Services cannot be sustained at the standard required and there is a very real danger that those in most need will not receive adequate support or may lose out entirely. We are calling for NIHE to reinstate the funding immediately and work in partnership with us to agree a sensible reform and strategy for Supporting People.”

Independent research has shown that every Ј1 spent in Supporting People schemes saves Ј1.90 for other public services. The loss of funding will not just affect the quality of life for more than 20,000 people it will result in a greater cost burden on other public spending.

More than 100 organisations are affected by the cuts to the Supporting People programme including:
Alpha Housing (NI) Limited, Apex Housing Association, Barnardos, Clanmil Housing, Choice Housing , Depaul Northern Ireland, East Belfast Mission, Extern Northern Ireland, Inspire Wellbeing, Leonard Cheshire Disability, MACS Supporting Young People, Mencap, Shelter (NI) Ltd., Simon Community, First Housing and Women's Aid.

To find out more about Supporting People visit  http://www.chni.org.uk/keeponsp.html 

Newtownabbey Residents Join for Global Feast of Food and Culture

27 September 2017

To mark Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2017, people living at Clanmil Housing’s Felden development in Newtownabbey joined with neighbours from the surrounding area for an extravaganza of food and culture from across the globe.

The theme of the week this year was Safe Space, Shared Place - tying in with the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together: Building a United Community priorities of Our Shared Community and Our Safe Community.


Melissa Magill with Weihong Tu, Artsekta celebrate Community Relations Week at Felden in Newtownabbey

The event at Felden was organised by Clanmil in partnership with ArtsEkta, an organisation whose aim is to help shape an inclusive society in Northern Ireland by promoting dialogue and interaction between different cultures and communities.

Over 50 people of all ages came together to enjoy the free family event which  included dancers from China, Poland and India, music from Africa and Ireland, including Ulster Scots, art workshops from Japan, Poland, India and China and food from across the world.  Residents from neighbouring areas were invited along to share the food and fun.
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing said:

“Clanmil has almost 100 new homes here at Felden and, as with all of our new build housing schemes, as well as providing great homes, we want this to be a really good place for all to live.
“An important part of this is hosting events that give people the opportunity to socialise together whilst learning about diversity and the multi-cultural place that Northern Ireland is becoming.”


Newtownabbey residents were joined by Councillor Billy Webb and ArtsEkta for a feast of global food and culture to celebrate Community Relations Week

Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week provides a platform for organisations and groups from the community and voluntary public sectors to showcase innovative approaches to good relations and building a united and shared community.   It is coordinated by the Community Relations Council with support from The Executive Office, the Department for Communities, the Department of Justice and other government agencies.

The Felden event was one of over 160 activities held across Northern Ireland between 18th and 24th September.

Local Kids Release Mini Movie

7 August 2017

Kids from North Belfast today unveiled their very own short movie – ‘Harbourview – Me and My Community’ to parents and friends as part of a summer project run by Clanmil Housing Assocation.

12 young people from Harbourview Apartments, Pilot Street and Short Street have taken part in the video project to create a short movie that showcases their talents and gives an insight into what they think about living in Sailortown. 

The 8 week project, which was carried out in partnership with New Lodge Arts and New Lodge Youth Club,  gave these local kids the opportunity to take up the directors seat, learn how to film and edit their work, all while starring in the film.

The showing of the movie, which took place at the Harbour Commission Office in North Belfast, went down a treat with the audience and gave the young people who took part the opportunity to display all of their hard work and on screen performances. As a way of celebration, the kids and their parents enjoyed a Family Fun Day at Harbourview Apartments after the unveiling.

Gerard Rosato, Community Cohesion Officer at Clanmil who organised the project said:
 “This program has been a huge success and it’s great to see so many of our young people working together to create something that is so positive. We look forward to bringing more projects just like this one to Harbourview.

Thanks to all our young people and partners who have worked so hard on this project over the past few months.”

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF FANTASTIC HOMES

03 August 2017

People living at Clanmil Housing’s developments in Belfast, Country Antrim and County Down today helped celebrate the Association’s 40th anniversary at a massive family fun-day at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast.


Clanmil Housing Officers, Siobhan Graham and Cathy Stewart were joined by tenants from Felden in Newtownabbey to cut the cake as Clanmil celebrates 40 years of fantastic homes with a big family fun day

Clanmil tenants from Belfast, County Antrim and County Down, where the Association provides over 1,900 family homes, joined together for an afternoon of fun.  Over 300 people came along to enjoy an It’s-a-Knock-Out competition, a petting farm, first aid demonstrations, face painting, music and a barbecue.

Sophie Byers drops by the petting farm at Clanmil’s family fun day as part of the Associations 40th anniversary
 
Tim O’Malley, Clanmil’s Community Development manager said:
 
“40 years is a real landmark occasion and we want to make sure that all of our tenants have an opportunity to join our anniversary celebrations.  Today has been great fun and has brought our tenants together with friends, neighbours and Clanmil staff to celebrate 40 years of fantastic homes.
 
“And we’re doing it all over again in Dungannon next month so that families living in the rest of our neighbourhoods throughout Northern Ireland can join in the celebrations too.”
 
Clanmil has been providing high quality, affordable homes for people who need them since March 1977.  Today the organisation employs 260 people and owns and manages almost 4,500 homes throughout Northern Ireland for families, older people and for those who need support.  It has recently embarked on an ambitious new homes development programme that will see some 1,800 additional homes provided, to rent or to buy, over the next 5 years.

Julieanne Montgomery and baby Kingsley from Causeway Meadows in Lisburn celebrate 40 years of fantastic homes for Clanmil Housing
 
Clanmil Chair, Steve Amos said:
 
“Over the past 40 years Clanmil has grown to become one of Northern Ireland’s leading housing associations, providing homes, services and support for a wide range of people.
 
"Throughout that time our passion for great homes and the people who live in them has never wavered.  40 years on we still believe that everyone should have a comfortable, safe and affordable home within a vibrant and supportive community where they love living and can thrive.”
 
Throughout its anniversary year Clanmil is celebrating with tenants, staff and stakeholders across Northern Ireland.
 
Steve continued:
 
“While there’s lots of birthday cake and fun planned, we’re determined that there will also be a legacy from this milestone. We have launched a 40 Lasting Legacies programme that will provide work placements, apprenticeships, community action and small grants that we hope will leave a permanent mark on the communities we work in."

"Our #RealClanmilLives social media campaign is also running throughout the year telling the life stories of people who live in our homes and showing the diversity of our tenants.  We hope it will also highlight how important a home is for everyone." 

Pupils have Designs on a Shared Future at new Housing Schemes

21 June 2017

More than 400 children from primary schools in Belfast, Banbridge and South Down have taken part in art workshops over the coming weeks to help lay foundations for new shared neighbourhood projects in their local areas.


 Morgan Hall, Khadja Ali, Jordan McNally and Caleb O’Shea from Forge Integrated and Holy Rosary Primary Schools in South Belfast
 
Clanmil Housing is building 103 homes across three sites - in South Belfast, Banbridge and Dundrum - that are being promoted as shared neighbourhoods.
 
The fun and educational arts programme has been organised by Clanmil working with Community Arts Partnership to provide pupils from 10 primary schools across the three areas with opportunities to come together in their communities to reflect on and engage creatively around their identity.  Through the project the children have been encouraged to consider the concept of Shared Neighbourhoods and the reality of segregation and to explore possibilities for the future.

Rhianna Murray and Evan Stone from Sacred Heart Primary in Dundrum with Molly Rooney and Joshua Alexander of Cumran Primary School in Clough.
 
The children’s ideas will be used to inspire unique artworks or sculptures for permanent display within each of the new Shared Neighbourhoods.
 
The new developments are three of ten shared neighbourhoods to be delivered under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together: Building a United Community (TBUC) strategy, which aims to build a more shared society.
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing said:
“The concept of sharing where we live can be a complex issue and this project is about encouraging the children to explore and develop ideas through art that are relevant to them and their families.  The images they are creating together wonderfully capture how young people want the future to be and how people of all backgrounds can make better progress together.

 Lorin Savage, Abbie McCormick, Fergus Always and Jack Byrne joined friends and class mates from Banbridge Integrated Primary School, Edenderry Primary School and St. Mary’s Primary School for the fun and educational arts programme.
 
“It is crucial that we take their creative ideas on board and move forward in a positive way.
 
“We see housing as central to driving change and these new homes, which are welcoming for everyone, are a strong step forward.  Not only will the new homes help reduce housing waiting lists but they will also provide people with the choice of living in a safe neighbourhood that welcomes diversity.”
 
Shared housing schemes give people the choice of living in neighbourhoods with people from many backgrounds and traditions and Clanmil is committed to delivering homes that are welcoming to all.
 
Charo Lanao, Community Facilitator at Community Arts Partnership, said:
“This creative project has really captured the children’s imagination and enthusiasm.  Their ideas will inspire amazing artworks for these communities to enjoy for years to come.
 
“It’s lovely to see new friendships form among the pupils as they engage in new conversations about important community issues and we hope these connections will continue beyond this project.
 
“Building relationships and holding meaningful conversations are at the foundation of a healthy neighbourhood.”

ROSETTA COTTAGES TO BE RESTORED

14 June 2017

Work has started on the restoration of Rosetta Cottages by Clanmil Housing Group’s new Hearth Heritage Division.  The landmark terrace, at the junction of Belfast’s Ormeau and Ravenhill Roads, was built in the early 1800s and is thought to be some of the oldest houses within the Belfast City area.


 
The project will see the restoration of six of the grade 2B listed cottages, which have lain vacant for the past 20 years, to create two family homes.
 
The cottages were acquired by Hearth Housing Association in 2012 by which time they had fallen derelict. The project is the first to be carried out by Clanmil’s new heritage division which was created following its merger in December 2016 with Hearth, which specialised in building conservation.
 
The cottages were once known as Saddler’s Row as farmers stopping at the nearby toll house on their way into the city would call on the saddlers who lived there to buy harnesses or have equipment repaired.

 
Siobhan Brown, Development Manager at Clanmil’s Hearth Heritage Division said:
“We are delighted that this project has started.  The cottages are a well-known landmark on a busy arterial route into the city and people are very keen to see them refurbished and brought back into use as family homes.
 
“The restoration will take just under a year to complete and we will be retaining the cottages’ original character on the outside.  Inside, while the cottages will be renovated to suit modern family life, as many original features as possible will be restored such as architraves, skirtings and sash windows.
 
“We can’t wait to be able to hand the homes over to families who need them and who’ll bring new life back into these wonderful historic cottages.”
 
Photos: David Bunting
 

PERFECT NAME FOR NEW DEMENTIA HOUSING SCHEME

7 June 2017

Clanmil Housing and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust recently approached pupils at St Joseph’s Primary School and members of the West Belfast 50+ Forum in search of an original name for a new supported housing development for older people living with dementia.
Work is well underway on the construction of the new scheme on the site of the former Grovetree House residential home on Cullingtree Road, just off the Grosvenor Road.


Caitlin Albarando, Caragh McBride and Conor Dougan from St Joseph’s Primary School in Belfast announce the winning name for a new supported housing scheme on the Grosvenor Road for older people living with dementia.

 
The project is a partnership between Clanmil Housing and the Belfast Trust and will provide 30 contemporary, high quality self-contained apartments for older people living with dementia in a supported living environment.
 
Young and old have put on their thinking caps, tested their imaginations and come up with innovative suggestions for an appropriate name that reflects the area’s history and the type of service and support provided at the new facility.

Caitlin Albarando, Caragh McBride and Conor Dougan from St Joseph’s Primary School in Belfast announce the winning name for a new supported housing scheme on the Grosvenor Road for older people living with dementia watched by (L-R) Elma Greer, Age Friendly Belfast, Danny Power, Dementia Friendly Community Group,  Brendan Morrissey and Colette Moore, Clanmil Housing Group, Katie Campbell, Fiona McKinney and Cecil Worthington, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and school Principal, Mairead Wier.
 
After much deliberation a judging panel made up of representatives from Clanmil, the Trust, and the local community have decided that when completed this Autumn the new housing scheme will be called Cullingtree Meadows, bringing together ideas suggested by Caragh McBride and Caitlin Albarando.
 
Caragh and Caitlin who are in P7 at St Joseph’s were presented with gift vouchers at a special school assembly on 7 June by Elma Greer from Age Friendly Belfast who kindly sponsored the competition prizes.  Runner up Conor Dougan, also a pupil at the school, received a prize too.
 
Colette Moore, Clanmil’s Group Director of Housing said;
“Cullingtree Meadows is our third supported living scheme in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and we’re delighted to be providing another wonderful facility for older people with dementia.  We’re very excited that Cullingtree Meadows will soon be finished and ready to welcome new tenants to their apartments.
 
“The new scheme will help people with dementia continue to lead full, active and meaningful lives within the community and we’re delighted by the interest that the children and 50+ Forum members have shown in the development.  The standard and range of names suggested has been really impressive!
 
“Congratulations to Caragh and Caitlin who have together come up with the perfect name.”
 
A spokesperson for Belfast Trust said:
“‘It has been such a rewarding experience working with the local community including the pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School around the development of the a scheme that recognises and values the benefits of supported living for people with dementia.   Being involved with the community has left us in no doubt that the people with dementia who will live in Cullingtree Meadows, will be welcomed and fully integrated into this supportive, caring community.
 
“The Belfast Trust warmly extends its congratulations to Caragh, Caitlin and Conor. Thank you to everyone at St Joseph’s Primary School and the West Belfast 50+ Forum for taking part.
 
“The competition was part of an ongoing Dementia Friendly Community initiative in West Belfast, chaired by Danny Power from the Divis Joint Development Committee and led by local community representatives in partnership with the Age Friendly Belfast, Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Together NI, Dementia NI, Clanmil Housing and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
 
“As we move towards opening the new scheme in the autumn of 2017, we look forward to strengthening these partnerships and supporting the development of a Dementia Friendly Community in West Belfast.”
 
More information about the new accommodation is available by contacting Clanmil Housing on 028 9097 6000.

Top Spot for Clanmil Housing’s Procurement Team

17 May 2017

Clanmil Housing’s Procurement team collect top award at prestigious new regional awards for its  sustainable approach to procurement.

Clanmil Housing Group’s Procurement team has picked up the Sustainable Procurement Award at the first ever National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards, organised by Procurex Ireland as part of Ireland’s Festival of Procurement.


Kevin Logan, Clanmil’s Corporate Procurement Manager and Eamonn McDonnell, Clanmil’s Corporate Procurement Assistant as they picked up the award the Sustainable Procurement Award at the 2017 Go Awards.

The GO Awards were the climax to Ireland’s Festival of Procurement and recognise and reward excellence and achievement in commissioning, procurement and public service delivery. Winners of the coveted Go Awards were announced at a Gala Reception at the RDS in Dublin.

Over the last 18 months Clanmil Housing has adopted an enhanced approach to the delivery of social value in its procurement competitions for the construction and maintenance of social housing. All procurement contracts now include social clauses which aim to deliver real opportunities for the long term unemployed and support the development of the communities where Clanmil work.

Kevin Logan, Clanmil Housing’s Procurement Manager accepted the award on Clanmil’s behalf. He said;

“We are very proud to have picked up the Sustainable Procurement award at this year’s GO Awards . Over the past 18 months we have worked hard to ensure that our procurement contracts really deliver on social value.

“Traditionally social value in our contracts related to government initiatives and the inclusion of mandatory employment clauses. While this can deliver real opportunities, we wanted to go further.  We feel that a true social clause can be used to support the development of a community alongside new homes.

“The benefit of our new approach is a commitment from Clanmil and our contractors to the sustainability of communities and to the people who live in our homes. Our intention is to deliver great homes with high design and build standards alongside community funding, community events, community training opportunities and access to employment. In this way we are achieving real social return for every pound we spend.”

MAYOR LAUNCHES Ј3.7 MILLION HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

16 May 2017

Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Councillor Brian Bloomfield, MBE has officially launched the development by Clanmil Housing of new family homes in Lisburn.
 
Councillor Bloomfield and the Council’s Chief Executive, Dr Theresa Donaldson joined Clanmil’s Chief Executive, Clare McCarty and the design team on site at Graham Gardens where work has just started.


(L-R) Stephen Lowry, Director of Lowry Construction,  Council Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson, Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh Councillor Brian Bloomfield, Clanmil Chief Executive Clare McCarty and Michael Rogers of Studio Rogers Architects

The development, on the site of a former public car park and vacant garage building close to Lisburn City Centre, is due for completion at the end of 2018, and will provide 36 apartments.  32 of the apartments will have two bedrooms to accommodate three people and the other 4 will be one bedroom, two person apartments.

Councillor Bloomfield welcomed the development.  He said:
“The addition of further social housing to the Council area is important as it helps to ensure quality affordable homes for residents.  These new apartments are ideally located for young families and older residents as they offer easy access to local shops and leisure facilities.”


 
When completed the new apartments will bring the number of homes Clanmil provides in the Lisburn area to 217.  This includes a further 19 apartments for active older people at the Association’s Seymour Street development, completed just last month, and 13 new apartments at Sloan Street which opened in August last year.
 
Clanmil is also working with the Department for Communities to progress the transfer of 59 former Ministry of Defence homes at Mountview Drive which it plans to refurbish and bring back into use as social and affordable homes.  The Association already provides 39 houses for rent in the area along with 11 equity share homes.
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing, herself a Lisburn resident, said;
 
“Clanmil provides high quality, affordable homes in areas of high housing need, and we are delighted that the Mayor and Dr Donaldson have visited our latest Lisburn development to announce the construction of these new apartments.
 
“This development will provide much needed social homes right in the heart of the city, convenient to local amenities and services.”

A Cracking Opening for Hub West

24 April 2017

Clanmil Housing tenants from all over west Belfast descended on Caffrey Hill on Friday for an Easter themed family fun day to mark the official opening of Hub West, Clanmil’s new community space.
 
Hub West is a brand new venue for community activities and over 100 young people and their parents came together to celebrate its official opening with a fun filled afternoon, which included an Easter egg hunt, games and a colouring competition.


Briana Rice and Stephen Miskimmin, join Clanmil’s Director of Assets and the Easter Bunny and officially declare Hub West open!
 
The winners of the colouring competition, Brianna Rice (aged 8) and Stephen Miskimmin (aged 5) cut the ribbon to officially declare Hub West open helped by Clanmil Group Director of Assets Tony Giffin and the Easter Bunny!
 
A number of Clanmil staff are now based at the Hub and a range of community activities are already being provided at the new facility including employability training sessions and art and craft classes.  These sessions are proving popular with residents and Clanmil is working with tenants to develop a programme of community activities to be based in the new facility. 
 
The family fun day provided an opportunity for all of Clanmil’s west Belfast residents to visit the new space and find out more about what’s on offer, putting it on the map as a place where everyone is always welcome.
 
Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer said:
 
“It was great to see such a fantastic turn out.  Thanks to everyone who came along to help celebrate the official launch of Hub West.  It was a smashing way to kick off all that is to come as the Hub continues to grow within the local community. It was also a great way for residents to get to know each other better.
 
“We’re really grateful to those tenants who’ve helped get the Hub off the ground.  We appreciate their enthusiasm and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with our tenants and others within the community to ensure that Hub West develops into a vibrant, welcoming place with something to attract everyone to come along and get involved.  It’s a great resource for the community and we’re very excited about the opportunities it will create.”
 
A weekly Parent and Toddlers session runs at the Hub on Fridays from 10 am to 12 noon and everyone from the local community is welcome to attend.

CREATIVE NAME SOUGHT FOR NEW DEMENTIA HOUSING SCHEME

31 March 2017

Clanmil Housing and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust are calling for local inspiration in naming a new supported housing development for older people living with dementia.
Work is well underway on the construction of the new scheme on the site of the former Grovetree House residential home on Cullingtree Road, just off the Grosvenor Road.


Artist’s impression of the new scheme
 
The project is a partnership between Clanmil Housing and the Belfast Trust and will provide 30 modern, high quality self-contained flats for people living with dementia, along with 24 hour care and support within their home.
 
Clanmil and the Trust are approaching pupils at the nearby St Joseph’s Primary School and members of the West Belfast 50+ Forum in search of an imaginative name that reflects the area’s history, some interesting aspect of the local neighbourhood or the type of service and support provided at the new facility.

Artist’s impression of the new scheme
 
Suggestions will be judged by a panel made up of representatives from Clanmil, the Trust, the building contractor and the architect and there will be prizes for the winning name and two runners up.
 
The successful entry will be used to name the new scheme when construction is completed in the Autumn.
 
Colette Moore, Clanmil’s Group Director of Housing explained;
“We are very excited to be working with the Trust to deliver this new supported housing scheme and who better to name it than people who live in the surrounding area.
 
“The new scheme will help people with dementia continue to lead full, active and meaningful lives within the community and we’re hoping for a good mix of creative ideas for names that reflect this or indeed some interesting aspect of its location.  We’re open to suggestions.  The more imaginative the better! ”

TOP HOUSING COUNCIL ACCOLADES FOR CLANMIL

31 March 2017

Clanmil Housing Group has scooped two top accolades at annual awards organised by the Northern Ireland Housing Council, a statutory body set up to advise on housing policy in Northern Ireland.


Cllr John Finlay, Chairman of the Housing Council presents the Norman Caper award to Clanmil Housing’s Ken Luke in recognition of excellence in customer service
 
Ken Luke, Scheme Co-ordinator at Clanmil Housing’s Harmony Court independent living scheme for older people in North Belfast, received the Norman Capper Memorial Award for excellence in customer relations, recognising his commitment to providing a professional, high quality service to tenants.
 
In addition, Clanmil’s Dunville housing development in Holywood took first place in the Councillor Jim Speers Special Award which is presented each year to the best housing association scheme constructed within the past three years.
The 31 family homes and 6 apartments for active older people at Dunville Park, Dunville Link, West Link and Abbey Road in Holywood were completed in 2015 replacing Housing Executive flats which were previously located on the West Green site.  Facilities at the Ј3.8million housing scheme include a ball game area and outdoor gym for sports enthusiasts.

Greg Woods, Clanmil Housing’s Architectural Advisor and Louise Green of Redburn and Loughview Community Forum collect the award from Cllr Jim Speers
 
Clare McCarty, Clanmil Housing’s Group Chief Executive, said;
“We are delighted by this recognition for our homes at Dunville and for Ken.
 
“Ken has only been with us for a year but he has already made quite an impression.  His enthusiasm for his work is clear in all that he does and he works tirelessly to ensure that people living at Harmony Court get the best possible service.  He goes way beyond what’s expected of a Scheme Co-ordinator and has a truly inspiring sense of passion for his job.”
 
Clare continued:
“We are committed to providing high quality homes that are affordable for our tenants to live in and the homes at Dunville have been designed and built to very high environmental standards.  High levels of insulation and particularly efficient central heating systems make them more energy efficient than standard houses and considerably cheaper for our tenants to run.”
 
The Housing Council Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of people and organisations that have excelled in delivering high quality homes and services and were presented at a special ceremony at Crumlin Road Gaol.

CHRISTINE NAMED STUDENT OF THE YEAR

22 March 2017

Clanmil tenant Christine McCarron has been named Student of the Year at the Women’sTec Gala Awards which took place on 22 March 2017 at Belfast City Hall.  The annual awards celebrate and showcase the achievements and innovation of women in non-traditional skills training.


Darina Armstrong, CEO, Progressive Building Society presents Christine McCarron (centre) as Student of the Year 2017, pictured with Lynn Carvill, CEO WOMEN’STEC.
In the past year, over 175 students have taken part in the Supporting People - Empowering Communities (SPEC) programme ran by Women’sTec in partnership with Clanmil Housing and part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 – Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, the Department for the Economy and Belfast City Council.

Colette Moore, Director of Clanmil Housing, presents Ana Semedo with the Student Award for Painting & Decorating at the WOMEN’STEC Gala Awards 2017
Participants gained 165 qualifications in plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, electrics, horticulture, information technology and first aid, helping to equip them for the world of work.  The programme has received resounding support from the construction industry and is backed by leading construction firms Gilbert-Ash Ltd and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.
 
Other Clanmil tenants who received awards on the day were Martina Rice and Ana Semedo won the Electrics and Painting and Decorating Student awards.
 
Lynn Carvill, Chief Executive of Women’sTec said: “Many of our students have overcome considerable barriers to take part in our courses.  With the shortage of skills and the under-representation of women in the construction sector our training programmes are invaluable.
 
“Through SPEC more than 500 people facing barriers to employment and training will have access to training courses over a three year period.”
 
Clanmil Housing Group Chief Executive, Clare McCarty said: “Through the SPEC programme our tenants are gaining confidence, new skills and qualifications, as well as developing new friendships with their neighbours – so important in creating sustainable communities.”
 
Clare continued: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Women’sTec and are already seeing positive results. Through SPEC people are encouraged to give something back to their community and everyone who has taken part so far has found the courses enjoyable and rewarding.  Congratulations to our tenant Christine who has been named this year’s Student of the Year.”
 
Christine McCarron, Student of the Year 2017, said, “When I first started the Joinery class I felt shy and wasn’t in a very good place of mind.  Looking back now, I’m so glad I took the opportunity and completed the course. I thoroughly enjoyed it, learned new skills and I’ve gained lots more confidence. It has helped me feel like I can take on new challenges in life.”
 
Darina Armstrong, Progressive Building Society, presented the Student of the Year Award to Clanmil resident, Christine McCarron, who completed accredited courses in Painting & Decorating and Joinery.
 
Darina said: “I am delighted to see an increasing number of women interested in learning non-traditional skills and taking up accredited courses. Christine, like many of her peers, has overcome a range of barriers to pursue new learning opportunities and she has succeeded in taking on new challenges. She is a real inspiration.”

40 YEARS OF FANTASTIC HOMES

6 March 2017

One of Northern Ireland's leading housing associations, Clanmil Housing is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Since 4 March 1977 Clanmil has been providing high quality, affordable homes for people who need them.  Today the organisation owns and manages more than 4,200 homes throughout Northern Ireland for families, older people and for those who need support and employs 260 people.


Clare McCarty, Clanmil Chief Executive with Steve Amos, Clanmil Chair and Joy Scott, Clanmil Vice Chair at the kick off to Clanmil’s 40th Anniversary celebrations


Clanmil has also embarked on an ambitious new homes development programme that will see some 1,800 additional homes provided, to rent or to buy, over the next 5 years.

Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil joined the staff team today to mark the start of a series of events and initiatives to celebrate the association's landmark birthday.  He said; "Today kicks off a series of celebration events to mark this major milestone in the life of Clanmil Housing.  So much has changed since 1977.  Back then our focus was on housing for older people. Over the past 40 years we've branched out into lots of new areas of housing and services and now Clanmil provides homes and support for a wide range of people including thousands of families.

"One thing that hasn't changed is our passion for great homes and the people who live in them.  40 years on we continue to believe that everyone should have a comfortable, safe and affordable home within a vibrant and supportive community where they love living and can thrive."

Over the coming months Clanmil will be celebrating with tenants, staff and stakeholders.

Steve continued;
"We want to say thank you to everyone who has worked hard and played a part in our success with an opportunity to join us in celebrating 40 years of fantastic homes. And while there will be lots of cake and fun, we're determined that there will also be a legacy from this milestone. So we'll also be launching a 40 Lasting Legacies programme that will provide work placements, apprenticeships, community action and small grants that we hope will leave a permanent mark on the communities we work in."

"A social media campaign will run throughout the year telling the real life stories of people who live in our homes which shows the real diversity and breadth of our tenants.  We hope it also highlights the impact a great home has on everyone". 

Clanmil Chief Named Housing Professional of the Year

03 March 2017

Clanmil Housing’s Group Chief Executive Clare McCarty has been named Housing Professional of the Year at this year’s prestigious Chartered Institute of Housing Awards.


Clanmil Chief Executive, Clare McCarty as she picked up the prize for “Professional of the Year” at the CIHNI awards 2017

The awards, which were announced on Friday 24 February at Titanic Belfast, recognise the outstanding contribution to local communities of people working in housing and homelessness across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

As winner of the Housing Professional of the Year category Clare will go through to represent Northern Ireland at the national Housing Heroes Awards, which will take place in June at Housing 2017 – CIH’s annual conference and exhibition in Manchester.


Gerard Rosato, Colette Moore, Lisa Wilson and Tim O’Malley from Clanmil Housing, with Lynn Carvill from WomensTec as they collected the commendation prize for SPEC

Clanmil also scooped the highly commended position in the Promoting Integration category for their Felden development in Newtownabbey for their work in promoting a Shared Future neighbourhood at the housing scheme, and also in the More than Bricks and Mortar category for the Association’s Supporting People: Empowering Communities skills training programme which it delivers in partnership with Women’sTec.

Also recognised on the night was Clanmil Housing Officer, Michaela McCusker who was highly commended in the Young Professional of the Year category.


Housing Officer Michaela McCusker (right) who picked up the commendation prize in the “Young Professional of the Year” category with Housing Officer Lisa Wilson (left), who also picked up the commendation prize in the “Promoting Integration” category, on behalf of Felden, Newtownabbey at the CIH Housing Awards 2017

Nicola McCrudden, CIH director for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, said: “These awards showcase the excellent work being done to support people with housing needs in our communities. The past year has not been without its challenges and it is more important than ever to celebrate the contribution of the housing and homelessness sectors to society.

“As always the standard was incredibly high but the judges were particularly struck this year by some of the great work being done.”

Housing associations and PSNI join forces to Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour

30 January 2017

Local housing associations and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have agreed an exciting new partnership to tackle anti-social behaviour through fuller sharing of information.


Housing Manager Elizabeth Martin signs Clanmil up to the Information Sharing Agreement watched by PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson and Chief Executive of NIFHA, Cameron Watt

Addressing anti-social behaviour (ASB) and neighbourhood disputes are amongst the most challenging areas of work for housing associations and police. Between December 2015 and November 2016 there were 59,653 recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour across Northern Ireland.

To help tackle ASB, the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) and the PSNI have now agreed formal arrangements for the sharing of relevant information between housing associations and the police service.

Fourteen housing associations who collectively manage over 33,700 properties across Northern Ireland have signed a binding agreement that provides a framework to enhance existing working relationships.

Housing associations will be able to request relevant information from the Police Service to verify recorded cases of ASB in the neighbourhoods in which they operate. This will better enable coordinated action against offenders and for appropriate support to be provided to victims.

PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson said: “It is widely recognised that any effort to tackle issues related to anti-social behaviour requires a collaborative approach from a range of partners. A lot of work has gone into preparing this information sharing protocol and we are confident that this process will allow us to be more joined up in how we assist people who are victims of anti-social behaviour and be more focused on how we manage offenders.”

Cameron Watt, Chief Executive, NIFHA said “Anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood disputes blight the lives of too many communities across Northern Ireland. Through this exciting new partnership, housing associations and the PSNI can more closely align their work to quickly and effectively address problems as they arise. We are confident that many tenants and communities will benefit from the swifter, more co-ordinated responses to problems that this agreement will facilitate. Everyone wins.”

The information sharing agreement ensures that participating organisations only share information that is relevant and proportionate based on the merits of each case. This information can only be used for the purpose for which it was requested and will not be shared with any other party outside the participating organisations.

Merger to boost conservation and social home delivery

25 January 2017

Clanmil Housing Group, one of Northern Ireland’s leading housing associations today confirmed the completion of a merger with housing conservation specialist, Hearth Housing Association.



The move will boost efforts to preserve Northern Ireland’s built heritage and will see the 4,000 home landlord adopt around 100 homes of architectural significance that have been restored by Hearth since 1978. The historic properties include Wallace Park Gate Lodge which was brought back into use in 2005and homes on Camden Terrace in Belfast along with a number of restored schoolhouses, unique almshouses and distinctive townhouses throughout Northern Ireland.


Experienced staff from the award-winning conservation specialist have joined the Clanmil team, bolstering its capacity to develop important older buildings into unique, high quality social homes.

 Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing said:
“The merger is good news and increases the potential for more dormant and derelict spaces to be transformed into much-needed social homes. It will build on both organisations’ excellent reputations, our track records and our shared passion for restoring older buildings, enabling us to meet a wider range of housing and community needs.  Thanks to our combined resources we are in a strong position to find creative and sustainable ways to tackle the housing shortage and ensure that historic buildings are brought back into full use.”

Clanmil is currently restoring the former Blood Transfusion building on Durham Street, a Grade B listed building.  A conservation-led approach is safeguarding the building’s character and heritage while providing 23 much-needed homes.  Following the merger, the cottages at Rosetta in South Belfast, acquired for restoration by Hearth, will also be refurbished this year.

Alastair Rankin, Chair of Hearth said:
“Our organisations have collaborated on many occasions. By joining forces we can deliver great outcomes for residents and identify new opportunities that can be achieved by drawing on our collective strengths. We know the impact that losing historic buildings can have on communities and the urgent need to maximise existing spaces. We will be able to build on Hearth’s award-winning conservation initiatives and Clanmil’s reputation as an innovative and tenant-focused landlord. This merger will secure a wide range of benefits for our residents.

Consultations, including with residents, staff and other stakeholders, were carried out as part of the process leading up to the merger. 

Lighting Up Christmas at Lower Ormeau

13 December 2016

Residents from the Lower Ormeau area celebrated the festive season on Saturday 10 December with a Winter Wonderland extravaganza, topped off by the switching on of the lights on a Christmas tree organised by Clanmil Housing Group and LORAG.

Clanmil Housing and LORAG partnered up for this year’s annual Christmas party at Shaftesbury Recreation Centre where hundreds of residents from the local area came along to join the celebrations. The event had a World Christmas theme with traditional festive foods and crafts from around the world.


The afternoon finished with the switching on of the Clanmil Christmas tree at the front of the recreation centre. The switch was officially flicked by one of the areas oldest residents, Ms Ellen McAllister and one of the younger residents, Alara McGee.

Clanmil Chief Executive Clare McCarty led the countdown to the big switch on. She said:

“We are delighted to be part of the Lower Ormeau community and to join LORAG in their annual Christmas event. It's been a fantastic afternoon with lots of festive fun and cheer. Thank you so much to Ellen and Alara who switched on the Christmas tree lights.  We hope everyone in the area enjoys the tree and wish all a very merry Christmas.”

Gerard Rice from LORAG said:

“We've had Christmas celebrations with Santa Claus for 28 years now.  This year, thanks to our partnership with Clanmil, we have our first tree. The light switch on was the perfect finale to a great Winter Wonder Celebration.”

Santa Stops By Caffrey Hill

13 December 2016

Over 100 children living in West Belfast enjoyed a visit from Santa this week as he stopped by his grotto at Caffrey Hill’s ‘Hub West’.

Families living in Clanmil homes throughout the West Belfast area came along to ‘Hub West’, Clanmil’s new community hub at Caffrey Hill, on Thursday evening for a very special visit from Santa complete with music, festive food and drink and lots of fun.



The event was organised by Clanmil with help from Caffrey Hill’s new Residents Association.

Philip Whyte, Community Cohesion Officer at Clanmil said:
“We were delighted that so many of our residents came along to join in the fun. It was a great way to kick off the Christmas celebrations, and everyone really enjoyed themselves.

“Over 100 kids visited the grotto in just one evening and came away with a little gift and a big smile on their face.

“Hub West is proving to be a great asset to the community.  It’s perfect for events like this and we’ll be using it for many more community events and activities in the new year.” 

Blooming Great Success for Clanmil Tenants

16 November 2016

The winners of this year’s Clanmil in Bloom gardening competition have been announced at a celebration event at The Junction in Dungannon, hosted by Cherrie McIlwaine, presenter of BBC Radio Ulster’s Gardeners’ Corner.


Timothy, Pauline and Colette

Clanmil’s Director of Housing Colette Moore with Timothy and Pauline Nightingale, winners of the ‘Best Kept Individual Garden’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ category.

 
Clanmil in Bloom is an annual competition run by Clanmil to acknowledge and reward those tenants who take a keen interest in keeping the green spaces around their homes looking the very best they can.  It gives tenants with green fingers and a passion for gardening a chance to showcase their handiwork.

This year the standard of entries was extremely high, and the judges had a difficult job choosing the winners.


Colette and Lillian


Director of Housing, Colette Moore, with Glenshesk Court Scheme Co-Ordinator, Lillian McCullough who picked up the prize for ‘Innovate Garden of the Year’ and ‘Indigenous planting Initiative’ on behalf of tenants from Glenshesk Court in Ballycastle.

This years winners included:

 Gloonan House, Ahoghill - Best kept independent living scheme/housing with care home

Felden, Newtownabbey - Best overall family development or single person’s scheme

Timothy and Pauline Nightingale, Somme Park, Derry/ Londonderry - Best kept individual garden and best newcomer

Glenshesk Court, Ballycastle - Innovative garden of the year and indigenous planting initiative

Caffrey Hill, Belfast - Community participation award Raglan Place, Ballymena - Best use of a difficult space


Linda, Colette, Yvonne and Maureen


Linda Blair, Yvonne Rock and Maureen Pearce from Gloonan House in Ahoghill with Director of Housing Colette Moore as they picked up the prize for best kept independent living scheme/ housing with care home.

Elishia and Colette


Colette Moore and Elishia Mullan from Caffrey Hill who won the prise for community participation in Clanmil in Bloom 2016.

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil, said;

“We really appreciate the interest that so many of our tenants show in the gardens at our housing schemes and all of the hard work and effort that goes into making them look so well.

“Congratulations to everyone from Caffrey Hill who helped create and maintain the winning garden. The variety of plants and creativity used in the green spaces at Caffrey Hill is what made the scheme really stand out. It is a very well deserved win!”


Colette, Tony and Lorraine


Colette Moore, with Felden tenants Tony Crawford and Lorraine Gilmore. Felden was named best overall family development or single persons scheme.

Colette and Margaret

Margaret McNeill with Clanmil Director of Housing Colette Moore as she collected the top prize in the best use of a difficult space category on behalf of her neighbours; Rebecca and Samuel Kirkpatrick.

NEW HOMES PLANNED FOR CROSSGAR

11 November 2016

Clanmil Housing Group has purchased a vacant site on Downpatrick Street at the centre of Crossgar.  The association is progressing plans to develop the site to provide much need new homes to help address housing need in the area.
 
Quality architectural design will ensure that the new homes are a positive addition to the village, adding vibrancy to a site that has lain vacant for some time. High spec energy efficiency features will make the homes affordable to run for the families who will live in them.


Clanmil Development Manager, Jan Sloan was joined by Margaret Ritchie MP and Kate Gormley and Clare Keenan from the Crossgar and Area Community Association to announce the purchase of the site.
 
Margaret Ritchie MP visited the site along with representatives of Crossgar & Area Community Association.  She said;
 
“It is very welcome news that Clanmil is working to develop a new social housing scheme in the centre of Crossgar to address unmet housing need in the area. This project will transform a vacant site in the middle of the town whilst providing secure and affordable new-build homes for those on the housing waiting list.
 
“This scheme should also benefit the wider community with a boost to the local economy through job creation in the building of these homes.
 
“Too often, people on the housing list struggle to find suitable accommodation in their area of choice. The development of this site will create modern homes for people in an area that has few re-lets available.  I am delighted that people will be assured of modern accommodation in Crossgar town.”
 
Roisin Erskine, Chair of the Crossgar & Area Community Association also welcomed the purchase.  She said;

“The development of this site is brilliant news for Crossgar. There has been a hole in the heart of the village for far too long and the Community Association is delighted to see a respected housing association like Clanmil investing in social housing for local people. We look forward to hearing more about their plans for the site and would encourage local residents and businesses to get involved in the community consultation process.”
 
Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil Housing said;
 
“Clanmil is committed to helping meet high demand for good homes in South Down and we are delighted to have completed the purchase of this site.

“We have been talking through our plans with local community and political representatives and welcome their support.  We will continue to work with them as our plans progress and, in the meantime, would also like to hear from anyone who has an interest in the development and would like to share their views.”
 
Subject to planning, it is hoped that construction of the new homes will begin in late 2017.

CLANMIL TOP FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

25 October 2016

Clanmil Housing has scooped a top prize at annual awards organised by Social Enterprise NI, an organisation promoting and supporting social enterprises across Northern Ireland.
 
The awards recognise and celebrate excellence in social enterprise and the outstanding achievements of social entrepreneurs in delivering social impact.


 
At a gala event in Belfast’s Stormont Hotel, Clanmil was named winner in the Prove It: Social Impact category recognising the positive impact of its work in developing communities and promoting financial inclusion and employability for people who live in the homes it provides.
 
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil was delighted to receive the award.  Tim said:
“As well as great homes, we want our tenants to reach their full potential.  Over the past two years we have been working with our tenants and a range of partners to develop and deliver community development programmes that really work.
 
“Promoting employability has great potential for the communities in which we work and we have established a partnership with Women’sTEC to deliver a 5-year, Ј850k European Social Fund employability programme.  In its first year 52 tenants have completed training programmes and five have progressed into employment.    In addition, through our new homes development programme we have leveraged 25 apprenticeships and 39 work placements, and achieved a commitment from our contractors to substantial investment in community event sponsorship, community labour days and welcome packs for new tenants.
 
“We have also invested in a Money Advice Service, which achieved a total financial benefit for tenants of almost Ј500,000 in 2015/16.
“These initiatives represent a significant new venture for Northern Ireland’s housing sector and one that is having a real and positive impact for our tenants. We are absolutely delighted that our work has been recognised through this award.”

RECRUITMENT OF VOLUNTARY MEMBERS

17 October 2016

Clanmil Housing Group is seeking new members for its Group Board and Group Audit and Risk Committee. Based in Belfast, the Group currently includes Clanmil Housing Association, Clanmil Developments Limited, Clanmil Properties Limited, Hearth Housing Association (specialising in bringing historic buildings back into use as social housing) and Clanmil Ireland Housing Association Limited based in Dublin (a related company).

We are looking for people who are committed and have the ability to understand and analyse complex information, and provide effective challenge. They should have a commitment to good governance and be prepared to manage risk effectively in an increasingly challenging and exciting environment. They will play an important part in developing key relationships with our stakeholders and our tenants, and need to be willing to develop and learn.

A commitment to attend eight Board meetings, and/or four Group Audit and Risk Committee meetings per year, and to keep abreast of political, economic and social developments, will be important.

We would welcome an expression of interest from anyone who shares our passion for providing homes and supporting communities.  We hope to establish a panel of potential interested parties including people with knowledge and/or experience in finance, regeneration, community development, social enterprise, health and social services, media and public relations.

This is not a paid position, although out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Please contact Laura Drummond, PA to the Group Chief Executive, for further information.

Direct line: (028) 9087 6017 or
Email:

Work Underway on New Gainsborough Drive Homes

5 October 2016

Work has now started on the construction of ten much needed new family homes at Gainsborough Drive in North Belfast.

The Ј1,000,000 development, on a site formerly occupied by Northern Ireland Housing Executive homes, is being delivered by Clanmil Housing Group with the assistance of grant support from the Department for Communities.


Alderman Guy Spence and William Humphrey MLA join Clanmil Housing’s Development Manager Jan Sloan on the Gainsborough Drive site.


The construction contract has been awarded to Dungannon based QMAC Construction Ltd and the ten two bedroom terraced homes are scheduled to be completed and ready for handover to families on the housing waiting list in Summer 2017.

The new homes will be highly insulated, helping to reduce heating costs and making them efficient to run for the families who will live in them.   They have been designed to the Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.

Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil said:

“At Clanmil we believe that everyone should have a good home and we are delighted to see work starting here at Gainsborough Drive.  These new homes will mean that next summer ten families from the housing waiting list will be able to move into fabulous new, easy to run homes.  We are very grateful to the local community and to their political representatives who have worked with us get this project underway.“


Welcoming the new development, local MLA William Humphrey said:

“We have been lobbying for some time for investment in social housing across Castle DEA.  This development at Gainsborough Drive, coupled with scheduled developments at Hallidays Road, Hogarth Street, Grays Lane and Fortwilliam Parade are a good start.  However, to build on this regeneration more investment is needed to address the housing shortage and bring derelict sites into use.  We will continue to lobby for funding to enable this to happen.”

Cinema Under the Stars

30 August 2016

Clanmil Housing tenants from all over West Belfast descended on Caffrey Hill last Thursday for a cinema evening under the stars as the curtain drew to a close on Clanmil’s 2016 summer program.



Almost 200 kids and their parents came along to the cinema evening for a unique screening of Zootropolis, topped of with popcorn, great company and fabulous weather.  The event was the last in a series of community programs and family events delivered by Clanmil throughout Belfast this summer in partnership with a range of community organisations.  

The event was a huge success helping to develop community spirit for tenants in the local area, demonstrated by an impromptu sing-along and dancing by the movie goers before the show started.



Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer organised the event.  He said:

“It was great to see such an amazing turn out at our cinema night.  Everyone who came along had a brilliant time and it was a smashing way to finish off the summer holidays as well as a great opportunity for our tenants to get to know one another better.

“Thanks to St. Theresa’s Youth Club for all of their help and support in delivering the summer scheme for tenants at Caffrey Hill.  We will continue to work with them and our tenants to develop more community programs and activities in the area.”

Pat’s all Shook up on 1950’s Day Out

24 August 2016

Poodle skirts and slicked back hair do’s were the fashion last week for people living at Clanmil Housing’s Independent Living Schemes.  They were among 200 Clanmil tenants who travelled from all over Northern Ireland to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra for a 1950’s themed celebration to mark the third year of the Treasure House Project.



Treasure House is a unique five year Big Lottery funded project that gives older people living at Clanmil’s housing schemes a chance to take part in workshops and experiences at Northern Ireland museum sites on a monthly basis.  The project is designed to help prompt memories and start conversations with an aim to combat loneliness and social isolation. 

Almost 200 tenants attended the summer celebration including Ms Pat Chartlon from Cedar Court in Newtownabbey, where there was the chance to dress up in 50’s attire and enjoy entertainment and workshops including a fashion show, and jewellery and “mocktail” making.
Since its launch in 2013 Treasure House has proven extremely successful, with almost 300 Clanmil tenants attending workshops in 2015 alone.

Pat Charlton, from Clanmil Housing’s Cedar Court is a regular at Treasure House sessions.  She told us all about the project and what it means to her.  He said:

“Once again, all of us enjoyed the visit to the Folk Museum for Treasure House.  The Treasure House sessions are great days out, but the celebration events are always something special.  This year there were lots of laughs and good criac and people sang and danced.  Thank you to all of the staff who organised such a wonderful event.”

Sailortown Gets a Lick of Paint as part of Summer Festival

17 August 2016

A brand new mural has brightened up the “Welcome to Sailortown” wall in North Belfast thanks to the hard work of renowned artists and kids from Clanmil Housing’s Harbourview housing scheme.



Oscar, James, Caidan and Danny, kids from Harbourview apartments who took part in the mural painting project.


As part of the Greater New Lodge Community Festival the new artwork was designed and produced over four days by kids from Clanmil’s nearby Harbourview apartments led by artists from Seedhead Arts.

The project was part funded by the Community Arts Project as part of its Hit the North Programme.  It gave young people living at Harbourview the chance to take part in a creative summer project that brought them together with their friends and neighbours to create a fabulous piece of art which will brighten up their neighbourhood.


Brand
new “Welcome to Sailortown” at Short Street, Sailortown as designed and
painted by kids at Harbourview and artists from SeedHead Arts.


The new street art was unveiled by Tim O’Malley, Clanmil Community Development Manager on 11 August during a community street party.  Tim said;

“We would like to thank all of the partners who helped us deliver this great project for the kids at Harbourview, and of course all of the young people and artists who got involved and shared their artistic talents and creativity to produce this wonderful piece of art.  They’ve done an amazing job!


Gerard Rosato, Elizabeth Martin from Clanmil Housing and Julieanne Skillen from SeedHead Arts.


“It has been wonderful to see the kids’ enthusiasm throughout the project.  They really put their hearts and souls into designing and painting this artwork which says so much about the pride they feel in their area.  We look forward to bringing more projects just like this to the communities we work in.”


Clanmil ties up three-way finance package worth Ј135m

30 June 2016

One of Northern Ireland’s leading social landlords, Clanmil Housing Group, has confirmed a Ј135m finance agreement with three lenders in Northern Ireland.

The package will underpin plans to build 2,500 new social homes over the next eight years as well as modernising some existing homes.  It combines loans from Danske Bank (Ј60m), First Trust (Ј50m) and Ulster Bank (Ј25m), all on attractive terms, and will enable Clanmil to access grants from the Department for Communities, combining public and private funding to create a total investment of some Ј315m.

The investment is expected to generate up to 500 construction jobs and support more than 400 associated jobs in the supply chain.
Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing said:
“Deals of this volume and with three lenders represent a strong vote of confidence in the social housing sector and our ability to deliver on ambitious targets. This funding package will allow Clanmil to continue our programme of development, helping reduce the housing waiting list by building high quality homes in areas where they are needed most and strengthening those communities by creating great places to live.

“It is good to see banks investing with confidence in large social programmes like ours and we’ve worked smartly to secure a mix of funding that will yield a range of positive results, including jobs and homes, over the next decade. The deals represent good business for Clanmil and also for the public purse, making the public money available for new homes go much further.

“We are particularly excited to make this announcement so soon after the Ј280 million EIB deal secured by our colleague housing associations Choice and Apex.  Together these investments demonstrate that in addition to our social contribution, the social housing sector in Northern Ireland is playing an important role in bolstering and growing our economy.”

Paul Givan MLA, Minister for Communities, welcomed the investment.  He said:
“I am once again pleased to be able to congratulate another housing association in obtaining a significant financial package, which along with investment from my Department, will assist in delivering much needed social housing in Northern Ireland and contribute to the local community through the creation of employment opportunities. 
 
“This announcement is another clear statement that both the Executive and local housing associations are determined to deliver high quality, energy efficient homes for those in greatest need across Northern Ireland.”
Chris Martin, Head of Social Housing at Danske Bank, said:
“Danske Bank is proud to support our long-standing customer Clanmil Housing Group, as it embarks on a significant development and modernisation programme that will provide a much needed boost to the stock of high quality social housing across the country. This transaction reflects Danske Bank’s ongoing commitment to provide long term support to the social housing sector and we congratulate Clanmil on a project that will both provide new homes at a time of high demand and jobs for the construction sector.”
Brian Gillan, Head of Business & Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank said:
“The creation of 2,500 new social homes is a significant boost for Northern Ireland’s housing sector. We are delighted to support this substantial investment and Clanmil Housing Group’s existing and future development plans. Not only will this create much needed jobs in the construction industry and further along the supply chain over the next eight years, it will help existing communities thrive and benefit from Clanmill’s delivery of modern energy efficient homes. This financial agreement demonstrates our continued commitment to support Northern Ireland’s economy and the local social housing sector.”  
Kenton Hilman, Head of Corporate and Property Banking Northern Ireland at Ulster Bank, welcomed the deal: He said:
“Ulster Bank has extensive expertise in supporting the housing association sector and meeting their specialised lending needs. We’ve been an active supporter of several prominent building programmes by housing association in recent years and we look forward to that continuing.”

Savills Financial Consultants acted as Clanmil's specialist Treasury Advisors in agreeing the loan facilities with the three banks.  Mike Roche, Director at Savills said:
"We are extremely pleased to have played a key role in this transaction working closely with the Executive and Board of Clanmil to achieve a diversified and keenly priced funding package that builds on Clanmil's long term funding strategy . The levels of support we received are testament to the financial strength and record of delivery  that Clanmil continues to demonstrate."

Clanmil is continually seeking development opportunities that will help increase the social housing provision in areas of housing need throughout Northern Ireland and is always pleased to hear from landowners who have sites with development potential.


Killinchy Homes Commended by Royal Society of Ulster Architects

03 June 2016

Clanmil Housing’s new homes at Beechvale Road, Killinchy have been Commended in this year’s Royal Society of Ulster Architects Design Awards in the Best Social Housing Project category.



The scheme comprises three houses and two apartments and is of a contemporary design reflecting an old blacksmith’s building directly opposite the site.  Floor to ceiling windows in some of the homes maximise natural light and heat from the sun.

The commendation recognises this modest terrace block of homes as a successful addition to the village of Killinchy.



The scheme was funded by Clanmil and the former Department for Social Development at a cost of Ј620,000.

Greg Woods, Clanmil’s Architectual Advisor said;

“We are delighted that our Killinchy scheme has been Commended in this year’s Royal Society of Ulster Architects Design Awards. 

“We are very proud of the new homes at Beechvale Road and their carefully crafted design.  A lot of thought and effort went into designing and developing homes that our tenants could feel proud of and which are an asset to this community.  It is nice to see this recognised.”


New Homes for Glenbryn Park

26 May 2016

Work is about to start on the construction of twelve much needed new family homes at Glenbryn Park in North Belfast.

The Clanmil Housing Group will fund the Ј1.6 million development  with the assistance of grant support from the Department for Social Development.

The construction contract has been awarded to Newry based Cunningham Contracts Ltd and the twelve two bedroom semi-detached homes are scheduled to be completed and ready for handover to families on the housing waiting list in Autumn 2017.


Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil with Nelson McCausland MLA and Tim Cunningham of Cunningham Contracts Ltd

The new homes will be highly insulated, helping to reduce heating costs and making them efficient to run for the families who will live in them.   They have been designed to the Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.

Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil said:
"At Clanmil we believe that everyone should have a good home and we are delighted to see work starting here at Glenbryn Park.  These houses bring the number of new homes that we currently have on site to 680 throughout Northern Ireland.  We are keen to build more and would love to hear from anyone who has, or knows of, a potential development site that could help us deliver more new homes where they are needed.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming new families to Glenbryn Park next year and are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have worked with us to bring the project to this stage."

BELFAST PUPILS SET THE SCENE FOR NEW Ј7MILLION SHARED HOUSING SCHEME

25 May 2016

More than 110 children from three south Belfast primary schools have raised the curtain on a new shared neighbourhood project with a dramatic performance at Stranmillis College Theatre today (25th May).
 
The story and production has been developed by Primary 7 pupils from Holy Rosary, Rosetta and Forge Integrated primary schools, and the unique play– called ‘A River Crossing’ – reflects different traditions in Northern Ireland and the children’s hopes for communities to grow and thrive together.

 
The fun and educational programme was organised by Clanmil Housing Association and Partisan Productions to raise awareness of a new Ј7million housing scheme within the Embankment development in south Belfast.  The new Port Building will be promoted as a shared community where everyone is valued and respected. The build will create 55 new social homes for families and single people over the next 24 months.
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing Association said:
“This is an exciting day both for the pupils of the three schools and for people living in south Belfast.  The play wonderfully captures how young people want the future to be and how people of all backgrounds can make better progress together. The pupils have engaged in a concept that can be complex and difficult to understand and it is crucial that we take their creative ideas on board and move forward in a positive way.  We see housing as central to driving change and these new homes, which are welcoming for everyone, are a strong step forward.
“There has been high demand for housing in this area yet potential development land has remained undeveloped for several years. These new homes will revitalise a dormant site, reduce waiting lists and provide tenants with the choice of living in a safe neighbourhood that welcomes diversity.”


Pictured are south Belfast pupils Njomza Xhemaj, Caitlin McKeown and Amal Mumin with Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing

The new ‘Port Building’ development is one of 10 shared neighbourhoods being delivered under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together: Building A United Community (TBUC) strategy which aims to build a more shared society.
 
Shared housing schemes give people the choice of living in neighbourhoods with people from many backgrounds and traditions and Clanmil is committed to delivering homes that are welcoming to all.

 
Karen McFarlane, Company Manager at Partisan Productions, said:
“This exciting project has captured the imagination and enthusiasm of the pupils. While the play itself is a wonderful production, there have been many non-visible achievements during the course of this project. The children have explored, considered and developed ideas that are relevant to them and their families. It has helped build new friendships among the pupils and enabled schools and parents to take part in new conversations about important community issues.”

Vulnerable people need 10% Supporting People increase

11 May 2016

As Programme for Government negotiations continue, a broad coalition of charities is demonstrating for an immediate 10% increase in funding for Supporting People services to protect many of Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people. It is also asking the new Northern Ireland Executive to prioritise assisting people with specific needs to live independently.


Charitable providers of Supporting People (SP) services, and SP service users, are gathering at Stormont on Wednesday morning, 11 May, from 8.00am-10.30am to press their case in a public demonstration. 

Supporting People, a Ј74m p.a. Housing Executive programme, enables more than 20,000 vulnerable people to live as independently as possible. Beneficiaries include frail older people, homeless people and people with learning disabilities. People can receive support in a hostel, in sheltered housing or in other types of supported housing accommodation, as well as their own family homes.

Independent research (NICVA/SITRA) demonstrates that for every Ј1.00 spent, Supporting People produces Ј1.90 in net financial benefits for the Northern Ireland Executive by reducing the need for health, care and other public services.

In spite of this, the programme has been denied adequate funding. Funding for Supporting People projects has been frozen for a ninth consecutive year in 2016/17, a real-terms cut of over 25%. This now threatens the quality and viability of services, and could lead to a crisis akin to that in parts of the residential care sector.

To avoid this, the coalition is calling for the new NI Executive to immediately increase funding to Supporting People projects by a minimum of 10% to cover steeply rising costs such as the new National Living Wage. Beyond this, the charities are calling for the new Programme for Government to prioritise helping people with specific needs to live independently. Adequate funding for the housing support and domiciliary care necessary to achieve this must follow.  These recommendations are line with the preventative direction the NI Executive wishes to move towards, such as in the Transforming Your Care blueprint for health and social care reform.

Ahead of the demonstration, Ricky Rowledge, Chief Executive of Council for the Homeless NI (CHNI), said:

Homelessness services are particularly dependent on SP funding and as such have been particularly affected by the continuing budget freeze.  If the budget is not increased by at least 10% the result will be closures and more very vulnerable people at risk of rooflessness or living in highly unsuitable temporary accommodation options. The cost to health, education, criminal justice and employment will be high.

Jim Dennison, Chief Executive of Simon Community NI said:
Supporting People allows us to provide lifesaving and life changing services for our clients. We work with thousands of people across Northern Ireland each year and without Supporting People funding we simply wouldn’t be able to provide that service.

In the last number of months we’ve seen the tragic death of five individuals on the streets of Belfast. Unfortunately we see death on an all too regular basis here. We see suicide, self-harm, ill mental and physical health. Supporting People allows us to help those individuals. Any cut to Supporting People means we won’t be able to provide that service and more people will die.

Cameron Watt, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) said:
Supporting People services transform the lives of vulnerable people, including frail elderly people, homeless people, and people with disabilities and mental health issues. By enabling people to live with the maximum independence in the community, it also reduces pressure on health, care and other public services, saving the NI Executive tens of millions of pounds every year.

Transforming Your Care is the right vision for reforming our health system, but it can only be achieved with proper investment in supported housing options in the community. This means a minimum 10% uplift in Supporting People project funding, and adequate investment in domiciliary care. Let’s make sure that the new Programme for Government prioritises support to let vulnerable people flourish.

PICTURE PERFECT CAFFREY HILL

4 May 2016

Lord Mayor of Belfast Cllr Arder Carson has unveiled a mosaic depicting Clanmil Housing’s Caffrey Hill development on the Glen Road.
 
The stunning artwork, which will go on permanent display at the housing development, has been lovingly crafted by four creative residents - Roisin Donaghy, Elisha Mullan, Elizabeth Rooney and Geraldine Smyth.  Over the past 10 weeks the ladies have been taking part in weekly tiling training sessions and creating their mosaic masterpiece has given them an opportunity to practice and perfect their newly acquired skills.


Lord Mayor Cllr Arder Carson with Women’sTec Tutor Geraldine Cooper, Betty Rooney, Roisin Donaghy, Elisha Mallon, Geraldine Smyth and Clanmil Community Cohesion Officer Philip Whyte.
 
The course, which will lead to an ONC Level 2 qualification, is part of the SPEC skills and employability programme introduced by Clanmil in partnership with training agency Women’sTec.  The programme is designed to give people who are struggling to find employment the opportunity to build skills through accredited training which will help equip them for the workplace.
Cllr Carson joined the residents and their family, friends and neighbours to celebrate their achievement.  He congratulated the Caffrey Hill tenants, Clanmil and Women’sTec on their hard work.
 
The SPEC programme is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014 - 2020 – Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, the Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council and private sector organisations, Gilbert-Ash Construction Group and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.  Residents at Caffrey Hill will have access to more skills training courses planned for the coming months as part of the SPEC programme.
 
Colette Moore, Group Director of Housing at Clanmil said:
“This is an amazing piece of art and the result of many hours of hard work and focus by Roisin, Elisha, Elizabeth and Geraldine.  Together they have created a very detailed picture of Caffrey Hill that says so much about their sense of pride in their home.
 
“Pride in your neighbourhood is so important to building a strong community and we are delighted that a group of our tenants at Caffrey Hill have recently come together to form a residents’ association.  Their aim is to improve the well-being of everyone who lives here and create a place that people are proud to live in.

“We share their vision that everyone at Caffrey Hill should feel supported, included and proud to live together in a safe and welcoming neighbourhood and we are working closely with the group while they get established.”

Old Building Named New Best Social Housing Scheme

04 May 2016

Clanmil Housing Group’s supported housing scheme in Downpatrick, run in partnership with MACS, has scooped the top prize at annual awards organised by the Northern Ireland Housing Council, a statutory body set up to advise on housing policy in Northern Ireland.


Housing Manager Brendan Morrissey collects the trophy from Cllr Jim Speers.
 
The Housing Council Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of people and organisations that have excelled in delivering high quality homes and services.
 
The scheme in English Street, which provides self-contained accommodation for young people aged 16 to 21 years who are leaving care or experiencing homelessness, took first place in the Councillor Jim Speers Special Award.  This award is presented each year to the best housing association scheme constructed within the past three years.
 
The Grade B1 listed 4-storey Georgian stone terraced house, dating back to the 1850’s, has been sympathetically restored by Clanmil and successfully brought back into use, providing an important first step to independence for up to eight young people at any one time.
 
The refurbishment project was part funded by the Department for Social Development through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the accommodation is available to young people referred to MACS by the South Eastern Health Trust.
 
Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil said:
“We are delighted that English Street has been named best social housing scheme by the Northern Ireland Housing Council.  It is great to see this lovely old building restored and in use as home to young people getting to grips with living independently for the first time. We are particularly grateful to our design team and to Hearth Housing, a member of the Clanmil Housing Group, whose expertise and advice ensured a conservation-led approach to the redevelopment, helping to safeguard the building’s character and heritage.
 
“The project is a very successful partnership between Clanmil, MACS, Supporting People and the South Eastern Trust.  It helps young people who are not quite ready to take on the responsibilities of managing a place of their own to get the experience they need while benefitting from the fantastic support that MACS staff provide.”

Easter Art Attack at Harbourview

4 April 2016

Clanmil Housing’s Harbourview Apartments in Sailortown now has its very own original street art thanks to the young people who live there.
 
Over the Easter holiday, with the help of professional artists from Seed Head Arts and Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer, young people at Harbourview got the chance to explore their creative sides by taking part in a special project to design and paint a mural depicting what their area means to them.


 
The two day project, part of Clanmil’s community development programme, saw the young people come up with ideas about how the Sailortown area should be represented before incorporating them in a 18ft long mural.  The theme they chose for their artwork is Harbourview’s close proximity to the sea and the end result has completely transformed an area at the apartment development that is used for their weekly sports activities.
 
Paint and materials for the mural were kindly donated by Dulux.
 
Sophie Fryer, one of the young people involved in the project, said;
 
‘’The art project gave my friends and I something a bit different to do during the school holidays.  It was great fun and really got us thinking about the area we live in.  We are all very proud of what we’ve created.  Everybody loves it.’’
 
Adam Turkington of Seed Head Arts, who helped the young people create their masterpiece said:

“We were delighted to work with Calnmil and the young people on this project.  We are always keen to bring colour and life to parts of the city that are in need of a little love and attention.”

Gerard Rosato, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer, said:
 
“Thank you to all of the partners who are working with us to deliver a wide range of projects and programmes for our tenants here at Harbourview, and of course to everyone who got involved in creating such a wonderful artwork.
 
“We have a fantastic sports programme running at Harbourview in association with Belfast Community Sports Development  Network, funded by Sports NI, that is really well supported by the young people here and we felt it was important to give them ownership of their recreational space and get them involved in decorating it. They’ve done an amazing job!
 
“We’re talking to people who live here in Sailortown to identify other community development activities that would help make this area an even better place to live.”  

Caffrey Hill Tenants Rewarded at Construction Industry Training Awards

15 March 2016

Four women living at Clanmil Housing’s Caffrey Hill development on the Glen Road have been recognised at the annual Women’sTec Gala Awards at Belfast City Hall.  The event celebrates and showcases the achievements and innovation of women in non-traditional skills training.


Geraldine Smyth, Elisha Mullan and Roisin Donaghy are congratulated by Clanmil’s Director of Housing, Colette Moore (second from left) and Community Cohesion Officer, Philip Whyte

 
Roisin Donaghy, Elisha Mullan, Elizabeth Rooney and Geraldine Smyth received the Community Award at the Gala event to mark their participation in the Supporting People – Empowering Communities (SPEC) programme, a partnership between Clanmil and training provider Women’sTec.
 
In the past year, over 140 students have participated on the SPEC programme which is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 – Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, the Department of Employment and Learning Belfast City Council and construction firms Gilbert-Ash Construction Group and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd. In total, participants gained 115 qualifications in courses such as plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, tiling, horticulture, information technology and first aid, helping to equip them for the world of work.
 
Lynn Carvill, Chief Executive of Women’sTec stated: “It is with great pleasure that we recognise the hard work of our students.  Many of these women have overcome considerable barriers to take part in our courses.  With the shortage of skills and the under-representation of women in the construction sector - with an industry average of only 13.4% - our training programmes are invaluable.
 
“Through the SPEC programme training schemes for more than 500 participants who face difficult barriers to employment and training are to be created in the next three years.”
 
Clanmil Housing Group, Chief Executive, Clare McCarty says: “Congratulations to the students from Caffrey Hill. It is lovely to celebrate with them today as they receive the Community Award, recognising how they have used their SPEC course to give something back to the community through the creation of a beautiful mosaic for display in their neighbourhood.
 
“As well as gaining new skills in tiling and a major boost to their confidence they are making new friendships with their neighbours – so important in creating sustainable communities.
 
“We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Women’sTec and are already seeing positive results. All of the tenants who have taken part in SPEC so far have been really enthusiastic about the courses and are finding them both enjoyable and rewarding.”
 
Eleanor McEvoy, CEO of Budget Energy, presented the Student of the Year Award to joinery student Aine McLaughlin. She said: “As a woman in a non-traditional industry myself, I am delighted to support the increasing interest of women wanting to learn a trade. Aine, like many of her peers, has overcome a range of barriers to pursue her childhood goals and has succeeded in returning to learn within her chosen subject.”
 
Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director of Gilbert-Ash says: “We are pleased to be able to partner with Women’sTec. At present, two of the main issues in the construction sector are the shortage of skills and the under-representation of women. Our workforce is currently 24% female, well above the industry average, and we are continuing to work proactively to raise the profile of construction as an industry of choice for everyone.”
 
Tracy Victor of JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd commented: “We’re delighted to be part of the Clanmil team providing maintenance services to the people who live in Clanmil homes. It makes perfect sense for us to get involved with this project and to support employability within the construction industry.”

Councillor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee said: “The work of Women’sTec fits with the Council’s Belfast Employability and Skills Framework and Action Plan and its aims to address employability and skills challenges in the city. The Gala Awards at City Hall can help to raise the profile of women and construction as an industry of choice.”

Lisburn Residents Learn Essential Emergency Skills

11 March 2016

People living at Clanmil Housing Group’s developments in the Lisburn area are now better equipped to deal with an emergency within the home thanks to paediatric first aid training delivered as part of a new Ј850,000 skills and employability programme run by Clanmil in partnership with training agency Women’sTec.

 
Over the next three years, through the new SPEC (Supporting People – Empowering Communities) Programme, some 500 people across Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to access accredited training in traditional skills such as construction, plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, tiling, horticulture and IT.
 
The programme is designed to give people who are struggling to find employment the opportunity to build skills to help equip them for the workplace.  It is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014 - 2020 – Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, the Department of Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council and private sector organisations, Gilbert-Ash Construction Group and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.
 
In Lisburn, people living in Clanmil’s homes at Causeway Meadows, Brokerstown Meadow and Mountview Drive came together at Trinity Methodist Church for a one day course to learn what to do if their child needed emergency first aid.
 
Emma Sneddon found the course particularly useful.  She said;
“Nobody likes to think of their child being in an emergency situation, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared.  By learning first aid through a course like this I feel I now have the skills and confidence to help my child if the worse happens.
“Today we’ve learned skills that every parent should know.  And while I hope I never have to use them, it’s very reassuring to know that I could help my child if I needed to.”
 
“Even though this is a very serious subject, we still managed to have a bit of fun throughout the day and I got the chance to meet new people from other Clanmil developments in the area.  I’m really looking forward to taking part in more SPEC sessions.”
 
A full 10-week SPEC program is planned for Lisburn in the Spring.  Clanmil residents will be able to take part in a series of workshops, gaining new skills and qualifications, helping them along the road to employment.
 
Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer is actively involved in promoting the SPEC program to Clanmil tenants.  He said;
“This one day course has been designed with parents in mind, to guide them through exactly what they need to know to deal with a range of childhood emergency situations - from choking and unconsciousness to fever and meningitis.  As well as these important skills, completing the course also gives participants an accredited first aid qualification, something that can help build confidence and spark an interest in taking part in more accredited training that could eventually lead to employment.
 
“We are really excited about developing the SPEC programme with our partners Women’sTec and will be offering training workshops at our housing schemes throughout Northern Ireland.”

Keys Collected for New Killinchy Homes

11 March 2016

Clanmil Housing recently handed over the keys to tenants at five new homes at Beechvale Road in Killinchy.
 
The new development provides 3 two bedroom houses and 2 one bedroom apartments.  All of the homes have been built to high energy efficiency standard and to the Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.


Michael Allen receives the keys to his new home from Clanmil Housing Officer Joji Min
 
The scheme, which was funded by Clanmil and the Department for Social Development at a cost of Ј620,000, is of a contemporary design which reflects the old blacksmith’s building directly opposite the site, with floor to ceiling windows in some of the homes to maximise natural light and heat from the sun.
 
Joji Min, Housing Officer at Clanmil Housing said:
“We are delighted to welcome our tenants to their new homes in Killinchy.  The homes have been built to high energy efficiency standards making them cheaper for our tenants to run and we hope they will enjoy many happy years here at Beechvale Road.
 
“We are very grateful to neighbouring residents and local political representatives for their support in delivering this scheme.”
 
Michael Allen, who has just moved into an apartment at Beechvale Road said:
“I am absolutely delighted with my new home.  It’s bright and modern with a lovely kitchen and bathroom and a really good garden too.
 
“Getting this apartment has made me much more independent and I’m looking forward to getting settled in and making it my own.”

Open House at Forest Glen

10 March 2016

Clanmil Housing Group was joined today by local political and community representatives for the launch of a new show apartment at its Forest Glen retirement development in Glenarm.


Stewart Dickson MLA is shown around the new show apartment by Clanmil’s Scheme Co-ordinator at Forest Glen, Teresa McDonnell

The interior of the apartment has been professionally designed by Ballyclare based, White Room Interiors and gives people interested in living at the development an opportunity to see first-hand what a beautiful home they could create at Forest Glen, as well as finding out about the facilities and lifestyle on offer at the scheme.

Forest Glen provides accommodation and an active lifestyle for people aged over 55. The communal lounge is the heart of  the scheme, providing a place to meet friends, enjoy good home cooking at the lunch club and chat with neighbours at coffee mornings.   A hairdressing service is also provided and all gardens, grounds and facilities are fully maintained, although green fingered tenants can get involved in gardening if they wish.

Apartments will be freshly carpeted and painted for new tenants.

Brendan Morrissey, Supported Living Manager at Clanmil said;

“Here at Forest Glen we offer bright, modern apartments and a great lifestyle with plenty to get involved in.   We also provide support tailored to individual needs and a wide range of activities including regular museum trips and workshops as part of our Big Lottery funded Treasure House project, giving tenants opportunities to come together and stay active and connected to the wider community.”
 
Forest Glen also offers peace of mind as support is always on hand, should you need it, from staff and 24hr emergency assistance.
 
Local amenities, including shopping, leisure and the seafront, are an easy stroll from Forest Glen and Carnlough and Larne are just a short drive away.

For further details, or to arrange a viewing, please contact Caroline McWilliams on 028 9087 6000.

Naming Clanmil’s Newest Homes

28 January 2016

Work is well underway on the construction of Clanmil Housing Group’s 64 much needed new family homes close to Colin Glen Forest Park in West Belfast.
 
Clanmil recently approached the nearby St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School in a quest for an original name for the new housing scheme that would reflect the site’s surroundings or some other interesting aspect of the local area.


 
Primary 7 pupils at the school have put on their thinking caps, tested their imaginations and come up with some innovative suggestions for an appropriate name.
 
The best entries were shortlisted by Clanmil and the winning name was chosen by Belfast City Council.  When completed at the end of 2017 the new development will be known as Colin Glen Green.
 
The name Colin Glen Green, reflects the development’s location close to Colin Glen Forest Park.

 
The idea for the winning name came from former St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School pupil Sй McCashin.  Sй, who now attends De La Salle College, came along to a special assembly at St Oliver Plunkett on Friday 22nd January to collect his well deserved prize.  Runners up Sophie McKay, Aoife Cassidy and Cara Moore also came back to their old primary school for the morning.
 
Clare McCarty, Clanmil Chief Executive, presented the pupils with iTunes gift vouchers in recognition of their creativity.  She said;
 
“We are delighted by the interest that the children at St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School have shown in our development and are very impressed by the standard and range of names suggested.  Well done to everyone who got involved and thank you to the school for helping with the competition and for holding this special assembly this morning.
 
“Congratulations to Sй who has come up with the perfect name for the scheme. We’re really looking forward to welcoming tenants to their new homes at Colin Glen Green.”

New Skills and Christmas Cheer for Lisburn Residents

22 December 2015

People living at Clanmil Housing Group’s housing schemes in the Lisburn area have taken part in a training ‘taster session’ thanks to a new Ј850,000 skills and employability programme introduced by Clanmil Housing Group in partnership with training agency WOMEN’STEC.


Leanne and Rebecca make festive table centre pieces during the SPEC training sampling event in Lisburn

Over the next three years, through the new SPEC (Supporting People – Empowering Communities) Programme, some 500 people across Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to access accredited training in traditional skills such as construction, plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, tiling, horticulture and IT.

The programme is designed to give people who are struggling to find employment the opportunity to build skills through accredited training which will help equip them for the workplace.  This Project is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014 - 2020 – Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, the Department of Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council and private sector organisations, Gilbert-Ash Construction Group and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.


Grace and Brook enjoy meeting Santa at the SPEC Christmas event.

In Lisburn, people living in Clanmil’s homes at Causeway Meadows, Brokerstown Meadow, Mountview Drive and Dog Kennel Close and Crescent got a chance to sample some of the training on offer at a special Christmas themed taster session held at Trinity Methodist Church.  While the kids enjoyed karaoke and a visit from Santa, Mums and Dads were able to try their hand at joinery, making wooden “Santa Stop Here” door hangers and Christmas table centrepieces.

The session was a great success with more than 60 people coming together to enjoy some festive cheer with their neighbours while learning new skills at the same time.

Leesa McMichael, who lives at Causeway Meadows, took part.  She said;

“I really enjoyed getting together with my friends and neighbours today.  It’s been great fun and we’ve all learnt a bit about joinery and how to use some of the tools.  I’m quite pleased with my door hanger which will be taking pride of place on my front door this Christmas.

“We had a great laugh, met some new people from other Clanmil developments and the kids really enjoyed the party too.  I would definitely take part in these sessions again.”

A full 10-week SPEC program will start in Lisburn during the Spring, offering residents a chance to take part in a series of workshops.  As well as new skills, participants will have the opportunity to gain a beginner qualification in Joinery, helping them along the road to employment.

Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer is actively involved in delivering the SPEC program to Clanmil tenants.  He said;

“We are delighted with the level of interest shown by tenants in the SPEC program so far.  There has been such a positive response by tenants to the sessions which are hands-on, informal and fun, and for some people, a first step into a full accredited training programme.

“We are really excited about developing the programme in the coming months and offering more SPEC programs at our housing schemes throughout Northern Ireland with our partners at Women’sTec.”

SANTA’S GROTTO BRINGS FESTIVE CHEER TO CAFFREY HILL

22 December 2015

Over 100 children living at Caffrey Hill have enjoyed a visit by Santa thanks to a very special community project.
 
A number of people living at the Glen Road housing development got together with Clanmil Housing in the run up to Christmas to create a very special Santa’s Grotto for the children living at the scheme in a vacant retail unit on the site.


Aaron with Santa Claus.
 
This was the first community project undertaken by the Caffrey Hill Working Group, who plan to run many more events and activities for people living at Caffrey Hill in partnership with Clanmil.
 
Alisha Mullan, who lives at Caffrey Hill and who is an active member of the working group, said:
“We are keen to work with Clanmil to come up with a series of events that will give us Caffrey Hill residents more opportunities to come together, enjoy each others’ company and get to know each other better – all so important in keeping our community strong and vibrant.

Santa with his special helpers, sisters Eireann, Caila, Sianna and Shanna.
 
“It was lovely to be able to kick off this initiative at Christmastime which is traditionally a time for sharing with friends and family, and to have the man of the moment, Santa Claus himself, here to help made it even more special for everyone.
 
“We are really encouraged by the positive response from our neighbours.  Over 100 children visited the grotto in just one evening and everyone came away with a little gift and a great big smile on their face.
 
“We are really looking forward to setting up our own residents association and partnering with Clanmil on more community events in the New Year.”

500 CONSTRUCTION SECTOR TRAINING PLACES FOR WOMEN TO BE CREATED IN NEXT THREE YEARS

22 December 2015

Training schemes for more than 500 participants who face particularly difficult barriers to employment and training across Northern Ireland are to be created in the next three years thanks to a new programme developed by training agency WOMEN’STEC and Clanmil Housing Group. The programme has attracted support from the private sector and is being backed by leading construction firm Gilbert-Ash and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.


Clare McCarty of Clanmil, trainee Sophia Kyle and Derek Baker, Acting Permanent Secretary DEL, mark the launch of a new training programme for 500 women

The programme is designed to give people, mainly women, who are struggling to get a job an opportunity to explore their options in the construction industry.  Accredited training in plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, tiling, horticulture and IT will equip them for the world of work.
 
The SPEC (Supporting People – Empowering Communities) programme is funded by the European Social Fund and Department of Employment and Learning and has secured investment from Belfast City Council.
 
WOMEN’STEC chief executive Lynn Carvill says the initiative is the first such private, voluntary and public sector partnership of its kind.
 
“This is a historic departure as it is the first time we have secured significant private sector sponsorship,” says Ms. Carvill. “Students will start their training on various trades by sampling courses before moving on to OCN-accredited courses.  These courses will be complemented with confidence-building, money management, job readiness and enterprise programmes - offering a full range of opportunities to students.
 
“WOMEN’STEC works with women who are furthest removed for the labour market, many of whom are lone parents.  These women can experience specific barriers to accessing training and moving into work.  The Supporting People – Empowering Communities programme will tackle these barriers by providing onsite childcare and travel expenses where needed,” she says.
 
The SPEC programme is a partnership between WOMEN’STEC and Clanmil Housing, who provides almost 4,000 social homes throughout Northern Ireland.  Clanmil Chief Executive Clare McCarty says: “As well as a good home, we want the people who live in the homes we provide to get the most from life and to reach their full potential.
 
“The SPEC programme is one of a number of initiatives we’re introducing at Clanmil to support our tenants in developing their communities and to help those who need it to gain the confidence and skills to progress into accredited training and ultimately employment.
 
“We are very excited to work’ with WOMEN’STEC on this project and are particularly pleased that our Maintenance Contractor, JMC, is one of the sponsors supporting the programme.”
Sophia Kyle, a Clanmil tenant who has taken part in a recent SPEC project says: “I recently enjoyed taking part in a gardening project in my neighbourhood with Clanmil and WOMEN’STEC.  All of my neighbours got together to improve our communal garden, as a community.  We got to know each other better, got our hands dirty and learned some new gardening skills at the same time.
 
This has really sparked my interest in learning more new skills and I am looking forward to getting involved in more projects.  Who knows where this will take me!”
 
Gilbert Ash is the first private sector backer of a WOMEN’STEC programme. Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director of Gilbert-Ash says: “We are pleased to be able to partner with WOMEN’STEC on their latest programme.  At present, two of the main issues in the construction sector are the shortage of skills and the under-representation of women. Our workforce is currently 24% females, well above the industry average of 13.4%, but we are continuing to work proactively to make sure that we always hire the best candidate for the job. Our partnership with WOMEN’STEC is an important part of our strategy to raise the profile of construction as an industry of choice to work in and to attract more women into the sector. The training and opportunities WOMEN’STEC are providing local women are invaluable and partnering with them was a natural fit. We look forward to developing our partnership further and helping local women find employment in the construction sector.”
 
Tracey Victor of JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd says: “We’re delighted to be part of the Clanmil team providing maintenance services to the people who live in Clanmil homes and it makes perfect sense for us to get involved with this project to support those same people gain essential employability skills.  Also, as a company working in the construction industry we know the value of training and welcome any initiative that increases the pool of skilled workers.”
 
SPEC aims to grow and improve skills across the City of Belfast, linking with Belfast City Council’s forthcoming Employability and Skills Strategy.  It will address the skills and employment deficit in the construction industry and add value to existing community development activities, progressing community cohesion across Clanmil residential area.
 
Councillor Carole Howard, Deputy Chair of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee at Belfast City Council, which helped fund the project, welcomed the initiative.
 
“The council’s Belfast Employability and Skills Framework and action plan for the next 10 years is currently out for public consultation but among its aims are to increase the employment rate in Belfast and reduce the proportion of the working population with no qualifications.  It will also look at lower level skills development and provision and aim to ensure employability skills for all.”
 
Permanent Secretary at the Department for Employment and Learning, Derek Baker has welcomed the new opportunities being created which will enable women to secure relevant qualifications to help them move into sustainable employment.
 
Mr Baker said: “I am delighted that the Department’s European Social Fund Programme will be providing funding for the Supporting People – Empowering Communities programme. This innovative new programme should equip women with the relevant skills and qualifications to enable them to secure employment or consider self employment. The partnership approach involving WOMEN’STEC and Clanmil Housing should ensure success for the participants.”

Storey officially opens 37 new social homes in Holywood

17 December 2015

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has visited Holywood to welcome the tenants of a new social housing scheme to their new homes.

The scheme, which is being funded by the Department for Social Development and Clanmil Housing Association at a cost of Ј3.8million, has replaced the Housing Executive flats which were previously located on the West Green site.


Minister Storey called with tenant Linda Taylor to wish her and her husband Leslie a Merry Christmas

The houses are located at Dunville Park, Dunville Link, West Link and Abbey Road.

Welcoming the tenants to their new homes, Minister Storey said: “I am amazed at the visible changes the Dunville development has brought to the area.  It has unmistakeably restored this disused site into an outstanding area for people to live.

“The completion of this scheme is the result of hard work and determination from all parties including, Clanmil Housing Association, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Redburn Loughview Community Forum.”

In total, the scheme provides 31 family homes and 6 apartments for active older people.  As well as being built to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, on site facilities include a ball game area and outdoor gym for sports enthusiasts.


Minister Storey with Susan Johnston and her daughter Lexi.  Also pictured are Gordon Dunne MLA, Louise Green from Redburn Loughview Community Forum and Clanmil Chair Steve Amos.

After viewing the homes of new residents, Susan Johnston and Linda and Leslie Taylor, Minister Storey said: “I would like to thank Susan, Linda and Leslie for inviting me into their homes today.

“One of my key priorities as Social Development Minister is providing decent, affordable, sustainable homes for everyone. This new development is a real, practical outworking of that commitment and it is a great pleasure to see the difference these new homes have made to the residents here. I congratulate Clanmil for the development of this scheme.  They have yet again produced high quality homes and the green space area is also a real hit for the families who now call this their home.

“It has been a real privilege to meet some of the tenants.  I wish them all a Merry Christmas and every happiness in their new homes.”
Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing Group said: “At Clanmil we are committed to providing high quality homes that are affordable for our tenants to live in.

“These new homes in Holywood have been designed and built to very high environmental standards.  High levels of insulation and particularly efficient central heating systems make them more energy efficient than standard houses and considerably cheaper for our tenants to run.

“It is wonderful to see how well these families have settled in and that they are enjoying life in their new homes and new community.  We wish Linda and Leslie and Susan and her daughters, and all of our new tenants here, a very merry Christmas in their new homes and many happy years to come.”

For families like Susan’s the play area provided within the scheme has been a welcomed benefit.

Speaking about her new home, Susan (who lives at Dunville Park with her two daughters) said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new home.  It’s really bright and modern and just perfect for us.  The kids love the play area and have enjoyed making lots of new friends.
“It’s so nice to be settled and preparing for Christmas in our lovely home.  We can’t wait to enjoy the celebrations with friends, family and our new neighbours.”

Planting Success at Dobsons Way

14 December 2015

People living at Dobson’s Way in Bessbrook have taken part in a training ‘taster session’ thanks to a new Ј850,000 skills and employability programme introduced by Clanmil Housing Group in partnership with training agency Women’sTec.
 


Aisling McConville and Tracey Quinn who recently took part in a gardening taster session at Dobson’s Way

Over the next three year, through the new SPEC (Supporting People – Empowering Communities) Programme, some 500 people will have the opportunity to access accredited training in traditional skills such as construction, plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating, tiling, horticulture and IT.
 
The programme is designed to give people who are struggling to find employment the opportunity to build skills through accredited training which will help equip them for the workplace.  This Project is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014 - 2020 – Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, the Department of Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council and private sector organisations, Gilbert-Ash Construction Group and JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd.
 
As part of the SPEC program Clanmil and Women’sTec run ‘taster sessions’ to allow participants to sample training in a variety of skills.  At Dobson’s Way tenants tried their hand at gardening by getting involved in potting winter flowers and spring bulbs at the scheme.
 
The session was a great success with tenants planting more than 40 pots of winter flowers and daffodils while learning new skills and spending time with their friends and neighbours.
 
Tracy Quinn, who lives at Dobson’s Way, took part in the gardening session.  She said;
“I really enjoyed getting together with my friends and neighbours for a bit of gardening.  It turned out to be great fun and we all learnt how to properly plant flowers and blubs.  The pots we planted have really brightened up our area.
 
“Even though the weather wasn’t on our side we still managed to get plenty of planting done and have a laugh at the same time.  I would definitely take part in these sessions again.”
 
A full 10-week SPEC program will start at Dobson’s Way in January 2016, offering residents a chance to take part in a series of joinery workshops.  As well as new skills, participants with have the opportunity to gain a beginner qualification in joinery, helping them along the road to employment.
 
Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer is actively involved in delivering the SPEC program to Clanmil tenants.  He said;
“We are delighted with the level of interest shown by tenants in the SPEC program so far.  There has been such a positive response by tenants to the sessions which are hands-on, informal and fun, and for some people, a first step into a full accredited training programme.
 
“We are really excited about developing the programme in the coming months and offering more SPEC programs at our housing schemes throughout Northern Ireland with our partners at Women’sTec.”

Bouncy Castles, Crafts and Community Spirit

24 November 2015

Clanmil Housing Association recently celebrated with residents at its Harbourview family housing development in Sailortown with a Family Fun day to mark the launch of a new Community Hub at the scheme.


Clanmil Community Development Officer Gerard Rosato with Joe Donnelly of TAMNI, Paul O’Neill, Leo Morgan and Jenny Sweeney from the Ashton Centre and Cecilia Heron of New Lodge Arts who will use the new space to provide a range of support and services for local people.
 
A bouncy castle, rodeo ride, face painting and arts and crafts activities were enjoyed by younger residents while local partner organisations Women’s Tec, Smile Sure Start, New lodge Arts, The Ashton Centre, LEMIS, TAMHI and Family Support NI promoted the services they will deliver for tenants and other local people from the Community Hub.
 
The new facility will give people living at Harbourview direct access to some of the support and services currently available in the wider North Belfast community.

Fionnula Benson celebrates the launch of a new community hub at Clanmil Housing’s Harbourview apartments in Sailortown, Belfast.
 
Rosemary Farrelly who lives at Harbourview said that the Community Hub is a welcome addition to the facilities and services provided by Clanmil at Harbourview:
“In recent months there has been so much going on here at Harbourview.  With the play scheme, family fun days and soccer coaching sessions there has been a great buzz about the place and I can feel a real sense of community developing.
 
“This new space will add to this and become the focal point for community activities at Harbourview.  It’s a really welcome addition to our scheme and we’re all looking forward to the new services that will be on offer.”
 
Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer, Gerard Rosato said:
“Thank you to all of our partners who are working with us to deliver a fantastic range of good quality services to our tenants here at Harbourview.  We hope that this new Community Hub will be used by all of the residents and that they will really benefit from the services provided.  We’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact that the Hub will bring as well as delivering a new multi sports program and women’s keep fit classes over the next few months.”

Fun For all the Family at Causeway Meadows Community Safety Day

7 November 2015

Families living at Causeway Meadows in Lisburn have been learning more about community safety thanks to a joint initiative between Clanmil Housing Association and Lisburn PSNI.


Wet weather didn’t spoil the fun at Causeway Meadows.
 
A family fun day organised by local PSNI and Clanmil, who own and manage 23 homes within the Causeway Meadows development, has helped raise awareness among residents of important community safety issues.
 
Along with the serious message, there was also an opportunity for neighbours to get to know each other better over a cuppa and to enjoy fun and games including an outdoor assault course, supplied by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, and a bouncy castle.
 
Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Development Officer said;
“It’s great to see so many families come together to learn more about these important issues and to get to know their neighbours better.  We hope that as well as having a great time, everyone takes home some useful advice that will help them make their community a safer place to live.
 
“We felt it was important that the event appealed to the whole family, with practical information for the adults and fun games and activities for the children.  That way, everyone can get involved.
 
“We’d like to thank Constables Curran, White and McKevitt from the Lisburn Neighbourhood Police Team who have helped make the day so successful.”
 
The Community Safety Fun Day was the first in a programme of events planned by Clanmil for the coming months, designed to help build on community spirit in the area.

Ј2.4 million social housing scheme in Glengormley opens

18 November 2015

A Ј2.4 million social housing scheme for people over the age of 55 has been officially opened in Glengormley.
 
The development known as Glenann Court, provides 21 one and two bedroom apartments for applicants from the social housing waiting list.  The scheme has been provided by Clanmil Housing Association with the assistance of a housing association grant of Ј1.4m from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development, with Clanmil providing Ј1million through private finance.


Mrs Isobel English who lives at Glenann Court helps Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Thomas Hogg cut the ribbon to officially open the new scheme watched by Clanmil Chair Steve Amos and Vice Chair Joy Scott.
 
Conducting the official opening, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Thomas Hogg said:

“It is a pleasure to officially open Glenann Court and to extend a warm welcome to everyone who has moved into these new apartments.  Congratulations to Clanmil Housing on providing these much needed homes that are specifically designed for people aged 55 and over.  I hope that the new residents enjoy life both at Glenann Court and in Glengormley."

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey said:
“Glenann Court is a much welcomed addition to the Antrim Road area of Glengormley.
 
“Apartment living such as this provides an excellent option for active older people.  This facility has been designed with their needs in mind.  It means that each resident can live independently in a safe, comfortable environment without feeling isolated, knowing that help is at hand should it be needed.”
 
The Minister continued: “I would like to congratulate Clanmil for once again providing a high quality, well thought out, practical and safe environment and I wish the residents every happiness in their new homes”
 
The development is of a contemporary design and the new homes have been built to high energy efficiency and security standards and to the Lifetime Homes standard which ensures that they will continue to meet tenants’ needs as they grow older, helping them maintain long term independence.
 
As well as on-site car parking, a unique feature of the new housing scheme is a communal roof terrace for use by tenants.
 
Joy Scott, Vice Chair of Clanmil Housing, said:
“Our aim is to provide high quality, affordable homes that really meet our tenants’ needs. Low running costs, excellent security and a convenient location combined with good design will ensure that our tenants at Glenann Court can continue to live independently in a home of their own as they grow older.“

Mrs Isobel English, who moved into Glenann Court in July, is delighted with her new apartment. She said:
“It was a big decision to move house at this stage in my life but already I feel that it was the best move I’ve ever made. My apartment is so much easier to manage than my old house and I’ve already got to know my neighbours. The security is a big plus too. You need to feel safe in your home no matter what age you are, but when you’re older the peace of mind that feeling secure brings is even more important. I can’t see myself ever moving from here.”

Celebrating Blooming Great Gardens

11 November 2015

The winners of this year’s Clanmil in Bloom gardening competition have been announced at a celebration event in Belfast Castle hosted by Cherrie McIlwaine, presenter of BBC Radio Ulster’s Gardeners’ Corner.


Cherrie McIlwaine with Pauline Hobson and grandson Ben. Pauline was winner of the best kept individual garden category.
 
Clanmil in Bloom is an annual competition run by Clanmil to acknowledge and reward those tenants who take a keen interest in keeping the green spaces around their homes looking the very best they can.  It gives tenants with green fingers and a passion for gardening a chance to showcase their handiwork.
This year the standard of entries was extremely high, and the judges had a difficult job choosing the winners, but the following gardens really stood out:
 
Best kept independent living scheme/housing with care home – Cramsie Court, Ballymoney
Best overall family development or single person’s scheme – Linen Court and Gardens, Belfast
Best kept individual garden – Pauline Hobson, Diamond Court, Moy
Best newcomer – Mullan Mews supported housing, Belfast

Cherrie McIlwaine with Sophia Kyle from Linen Court and Gardens, winner of the best overall family development or single person’s scheme
 
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil, said;
“This event gives us a chance to celebrate and showcase the handiwork of those tenants with green fingers and a passion for gardening.  We really appreciate the interest that so many of our tenants show in the gardens at our housing schemes and all of the hard work and effort that goes into making them look so well.
 
“Congratulations to everyone at the winning schemes who helped create and maintain their fabulous gardens.  The variety of plants and the amazing colours really impressed our judges.  You’re all very worthy winners!”

Cherrie McIlwaine and Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil, with Mullan Mews tenants Edith Mc Neill and Mabel Irwin and Housing Support Worker Sinead Hyndman.  Mullan Mews was named best newcomer.
 
Cherrie McIlwaine said;
“Magical things happen when you make a garden. From the mystery of sowing a seed to the bigger picture of changing a landscape, gardening empowers people and transforms communities whether you are planting a window-box or a wide open space.
 
“Clanmil in Bloom is a blooming marvellous idea and congratulations to the winners and to everyone who got going and got growing.”

Cherrie McIlwaine with Cramsie Court scheme co-ordinator Lillian McCullough and Mr and Mrs Southall who live at the scheme which was named best kept independent living scheme/housing with care home

GLENSHESK COURT TIDIES UP AT BEST KEPT AWARDS

23 October 2015

Clanmil Housing’s Glenshesk Court housing scheme for older people in Ballycastle has taken a top title in this year’s prestigious Open+Direct Insurance Best Kept City, Towns, Villages and Housing Area Awards.


Left to Right – Doreen Muskett President of NIAC, Caroline McWilliams of Clanmil Housing, Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan, Rosemary McGowan, Scheme Co-ordinator at Glenshesk Court, Joe Mahon NIAC patron and Lesley Owens of Open + Direct Insurance.

The annual awards are organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and sponsored by Open+Direct Insurance.
The award for Best Kept Sheltered Housing Area recognises the dedication and hard work of staff and tenants at Glenshesk Court independent living scheme who showcase their pride in their workplace and homes by ensuring they look their very best.
Doreen Muskett MBE, President of NIAC said;
“Congratulations to Glenshesk Court on winning this much coveted award. The Best Kept Awards have been in existence since 1957 and are now very firmly established as one of the ultimate accolades for housing areas across Northern Ireland, so the residents of Glenshesk should be rightly proud. I send my warmest congratulations to all involved”.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in the Guild Hall in Londonderry.
 
Clanmil’s Director of Housing, Colette Moore was delighted that Glenshesk Court had been recognised in this way.  She said;
 
“At Clanmil our aim is to provide homes where people are proud to live and we have supported the Best Kept Awards for a number of years.  By taking an active interest in their own gardens, as well as helping out with planting and green spaces in the shared areas, our tenants play an important role in making sure their schemes look their best – it’s also a great way of keeping fit and healthy.
 
Congratulations to everyone at Glenshesk Court.  It’s great to see your hard work rewarded.”

MAYOR OPENS NEW Ј7 MILLION HOUSING SCHEME IN BANGOR

16 September 2015

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham has officially opened Clanmil Housing Group’s new homes at Ballyvester Grove and Close in Bangor.
 
The new 41 home development provides 24 three bedroom houses, 16 two bedroom houses and one four bedroom wheelchair bungalow. All are for families on the social housing waiting list and have been built by Clanmil with the assistance of Ј2.8 million grant support from the Department for Social Development.


Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham official opened Clanmil’s new 41 home scheme in Bangor with Steve Amos Chair of Clanmil, tenants Julie and Autumn Thompson and Jim Wilkinson, Department for Social Development
During a family fun day organised to celebrate the opening the Mayor said:
“It is a pleasure to officially open the Ballyvester housing development and to convey a warm welcome to everyone who has moved into these new homes. Congratulations to Clanmil on this wonderful achievement. This impressive development offers energy-efficient housing with plenty of space for families.  I sincerely hope that the residents enjoy their new homes and wish them every success in the future.”

Alderman Graham gives Autumn a helping hand watched by Mum Julie and Chair of Clanmil, Steve Amos
 
The new homes have been built to high levels of energy efficiency with roof solar panels to generate electricity, a water recycling system to reduce water use and high levels of insulation to help reduce heating and energy costs. All have also been constructed to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards which ensure added security and ease of adaptation if required at a later date.
 
During a tour of the scheme the Mayor met residents including Julie Thompson and daughter Autumn who moved into Ballyvester Grove last Christmas. Julie said:
“Autumn and I had been living in a Women’s Aid refuge and we were desperate for a home of our own. When we saw these houses being built I applied to Clanmil but I told Autumn not to get her hopes up in case we didn’t get one. When I found out we’d been successful I kept it a secret until the day we moved in. She was so excited! She just loves having her own room and space to play outside with all her new friends.”

 
“We’re so happy to have a home of our own at last. It’s a place where we can put down roots and feel safe,” added Julie.
 
Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing Group said:
“It’s been a real pleasure to join our tenants today in welcoming friends and neighbours from the local community to our street party here at our new Ballyvester Grove and Close development.”

 
“Over the past few months these families have been busy settling into their fabulous new homes and getting to know each other. Today is all about celebrating that and we’re delighted that so many local people have come along to join the fun.”
 
“At Clanmil we work hard to ensure that our housing developments are great places to live - places that our tenants are happy to call home, where they feel secure and where they can settle down and raise their families. As well as that, we aim to provide sustainable family homes and have built these houses to a particularly high environmental standard, making them more energy efficient than standard homes and, most importantly, considerably cheaper for tenants to run.”

TENANTS WELCOMED TO NEW DUNMURRY HOUSING SCHEME

5 August 2015

Clanmil Housing recently welcomed tenants to its new social housing scheme at Redwoods in Dunmurry.

The development, known as the Monarch Building, is Clanmil’s second apartment building at the Redwoods development and provides a further 46 one and two bedroom apartments, this time for people over the age of 50.


New tenants Oonagh McKee and Geraldine McKendrick are welcomed to their new homes at the Monarch Building by Joji Min, Clanmil’s Tenancy Support Co-ordinator and Clanmil Chief Executive, Clare McCarty

Two years ago Clanmil purchased the Semper apartments at the development for over 55s.

Both the Semper and Monarch Buildings were originally built for the private housing market but lay unsold for several years before being purchased by Clanmil.

Clare McCarty, Clanmil Housing Group Chief Executive said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome tenants to the Monarch Building. Next door, at the Semper Building, our tenants are well settled and already we can see the same sense of community developing here at The Monarch. It is wonderful to see such vibrancy in two buildings that stood empty for so long.

“Together, the Semper and Monarch Buildings provide a great living environment for our tenants with easy to manage apartments, excellent security and a convenient location, all of which will help them continue to live independently in a home of their own as they grow older.”

Oonagh McKee, one of the first people to move into the Monarch Building, is delighted with her new home.  She says:
“I just love my apartment. Moving here is a fresh start for me – a beautiful bright new home and lovely friendly neighbours.

“The apartments are really well finished and I’ve been enjoying putting my stamp on mine and really making it my own. I’ve made lots of new friends already and we are quickly becoming a very close knit community.  It’s the sort of place where there’s always someone around if you want company but it’s really quiet and private too.”

Oonagh’s new friend and neighbour, Geraldine Kendrick, is also enjoying life at The Monarch Building.  She says:
“I was in private rented accommodation before moving here and this is so much better.  It’s great to have such a lovely space to call your own.  Since moving in, every morning has felt like Christmas morning - wakening up and realising that I’m really here, living in such a lovely place.

“I’m also close to my family here which is important as I have health problems and sometimes need a bit of support.  The Clanmil staff here have been wonderful too and have really helped me settle in.  It’s been a great move for me.”

OLDER PEOPLE FOCUS ON FORTIES FUN

7 August 2015

Land girls, ration books and carrot fudge will be the order of the day at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra today as more than 100 older people enjoy a chance to relive the 1940s.


Mr Trevor Robinson enjoys reminiscing with Clanmil Housing Administrator Sinead Green and NMNI Lifelong Learning Officer Sue Cathcart.


The special occasion, organised by Clanmil Housing and the National Museums Northern Ireland, is part of a unique five year Big Lottery project that gives older people living in sheltered housing a chance to take part in workshops and experiences at museum sites to help prompt memories and start conversations.

Over the past two years the Treasure House project has been successful in helping to combat loneliness and establish new connections for Clanmil’s older tenants, providing more than 400 workshops and activities at museum sites throughout Northern Ireland.


Mrs Margaret McCrory shares some 1940s recipes with Clanmil Maintenance Administrator Rory McBride.

The 1940s themed event will bring back to life a decade dominated by World War II with the food, music and fashion of the era and activities including cooking with war time rations and a “Dig for Victory” workshop.

Brendan Morrissey, Housing Manager at Clanmil said:
“The Treasure House project has just completed its second year and has so far been phenomenally successful. While the focus is very much on fun, the project really helps with difficult issues such as loneliness and isolation that sadly affect many people in older life.

“The days out and museum sessions have such a positive impact on the people who take part, helping them keep body and mind active while bringing them together to enjoy each other’s company, learn new skills and develop new interests.  Our tenants are so enthusiastic about the Treasure House sessions and really look forward to their monthly trips.  More than 70% of those who have come along to one project session have signed up for more.  It gives everyone something to look forward to and is always a great talking point when they are back at home.”

Sue Cathcart, Life Long Learning Officer for National Museums Northern Ireland, commented:
“The project uses National Museums’ unique collections to inspire our older citizens to tap into, explore and develop their creativity through a host of different activities.  We’ve watched donkeys being groomed at the Folk Museum, learned about the history of flight in Northern Ireland  and got dressed like a Georgian in the Ulster Museum! 

“The 1940’s event is a celebration of the spirit of the times.  We have the Siobhan Pettit Trio and the Belle Hoppers giving us a musical taste of the age and there will be an Austerity Kitchen offering everyone the chance to taste the ingenious frugal meals that the housewives of the time would have served. 

“War Memorial House will be joining us to show us how to ‘make do and mend’ and we will be digging for Victory.  There’ll be lots of interesting artefacts from the time and of course we will all be getting dressed 1940’s style, with ration conscious clothes and gravy browning for stockings. All in all it will be a grand day out!

“We would like to thank all our volunteers, the Clanmil co-ordinators and our museum staff who all contribute to making this project so exciting and successful.”

Mr Trevor Robinson, who lives at Clanmil’s Old Mill sheltered housing scheme in Larne has been taking part in project sessions since Treasure House started.  He said;

“I was a bit reluctant to get involved with Treasure House to begin with as I didn’t think it was for me.  I’d spent my whole life working and focusing on my family and never had time for museums or art or anything like that.

“But I’m retired now and at a bit of a loose end, so I was persuaded to give it a try and now I never miss a session.  As well as some lovely days out and great craic, through Treasure House I’ve discovered that I really enjoy arts and crafts – something that I never would have had any interest in before.  Treasure House has given my lots of new friends and a whole new lease of life.”

Growing a Community at Linen Gardens

29 July 2015

People living at Clanmil Housing’s Linen Court and Gardens in East Belfast have recently joined together to set up a residents’ association with the aim of building a strong sense of community in their area.

The group is working closely with Clanmil and one of their first projects has been the creation of a community garden at their development.


LG - Philip, Kelli and Katelyn – Katelyn (2) lends a little helping hand to Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer, Philip and Womens Tec representative Kelli, as they plant some lovely new pots and plants in the new community garden at Linen Court and Gardens in East Belfast.


Working with Women’sTec, a charity that provides training for women in non-traditional skills throughout Northern Ireland, Linen Court and Garden residents used new skills including gardening, painting and woodwork to turn an unused plot of ground into a community garden that all of the neighbours can enjoy.

The project encouraged the tenants to come together, engage with each other in a fun and positive way and really get to know each other.

Through the project, the tenants also learned new skills and got the chance to sample the employability programmes offered by Women’s Tec.


Kelli, Robin and Philip – Community Cohesion Officer; Philip, along with Womens Tec representative; Kelli and Clanmil tenant; Robin get down to work in helping refresh the community garden space at Linen Gardens.


Robin Stewart, who lives at Linen Gardens feels the project has already had a really positive impact on the area. He said;

“Communities just don’t happen. It’s not just enough to build houses, you need to build communities as well. We can see that Clanmil are investing in our space with all of the great work that’s gone on. It’s been so nice to see everyone coming together to help make our area a great place to live.”

Philip Whyte, Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer supported the tenants throughout the process and, along with other Clanmil staff volunteers, worked alongside them and Women’sTec to build raised beds and plant out flowers, fruit and vegetables. He said;

“At Clanmil we are committed to encouraging our tenants to get involved in their area and we are constantly looking for creative and innovative ways to boost engagement with our tenants. That’s how, together with the residents, we came up with the idea of cleaning up and transforming the shared courtyard at Linen Gardens into a fabulous garden!

“We are delighted to see so many of our tenants coming together as a group to help improve the community in which they live. We hope to see lots more projects just like this one taking place at our housing schemes throughout Northern Ireland in the coming months.”

Minister Storey hands over keys to new homes at Bayview Park

07 July 2015

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has officially opened a new social housing scheme on the shore of Lough Neagh.

The Bayview Park scheme, in Derrymore, County Antrim, was given support of Ј300,000 from the Department for Social Development, and has been developed by Clanmil Housing Association, with additional funding of Ј300,000. The new scheme provides six new semi-detached family homes.


New tenant, Stephen McGarrell is welcomed to Bayview Park in Craigavon by DSD Minister; Mervyn Storey, Clanmil’s Housing Manager; Elizabeth Martin along with Dolores Kelly and Joe Nelson of SDLP

At the official opening, Minister Storey handed over keys to new resident, Stephen McGarrell, and said: “These new homes are a fine example of the high standard of social homes being built in Northern Ireland and I am pleased that my Department was able to contribute towards the scheme.

“Six families will now benefit from comfortable dwellings which are close to a local primary school and many other community amenities, with the additional bonus of providing fantastic views over Lough Neagh. I wish all the new tenants of Bayview Park all the best in their new homes.”


Minister Storey enjoys a cup of tea with Clanmil tenant, Stephen and Housing Manager, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Martin, Housing Manager at Clanmil Housing, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new tenants to Bayview Park, and it is lovely to have the Minister visit to wish them well as they settle into their new homes and new community here on the shores of Lough Neagh.

“The new homes have been built to high energy efficiency standards making them cheaper for our tenants to run and we hope the families will enjoy many happy years here at Bayview Park. We are very grateful to neighbouring residents and local political representatives for their support in delivering this scheme.”

Modernisation at The Old Mill

30 June 2015

Clanmil Housing Group has just completed a major programme of improvements at The Old Mill, in Larne, which provides 13 self contained apartments and 12 bungalows for older people.  Just over Ј90,000 has been spent on refreshing the independent living scheme which provided modern kitchens in all of the apartments and bungalows.


Clanmil tenant, Beth enjoys a little light cooking in her brand new kitchen.
 
The work at The Old Mill is part of a major five year maintenance programme which will see over Ј8 million invested in Clanmil’s properties throughout Northern Ireland.
 
Tenants at The Old Mill were given their choice from a range of kitchen designs based on the style of kitchen which they wanted for their home.
 
Beth Hamill, from The Old Mill couldn’t be more delighted with the work.  She says:
 
“I just love my new kitchen.  We all got to pick our own cupboards and worktops and had a great time weighing up all the choices.  When our kitchens were being replaced the workmen covered everything up and left the place tidy at the end of every day. They couldn’t have been better – so considerate and polite.”
 
Adrian Redmond, Group Director of Assets at Clanmil said:
 
“We’re delighted that Beth and her neighbours are happy with the work that we’ve completed at The Old Mill and that they’re settling back into life in their refreshed and refurbished homes.
 
“We know that there is potential for some disruption during refurbishment work like this so we’ve appointed a dedicated tenant liaison officer who is helping to co ordinate the work with our tenants.  We’re very grateful to them all for their patience during the work.
 
“In the past year we’ve invested Ј4.2m in improving and redecorating our homes, demonstrating our commitment to providing our tenants with high quality homes they can be proud of.”

Imperial Apartment Facelift Delight

11 June 2015

Clanmil Housing Group has just completed a major programme of improvements at The Imperial, in Donaghadee, which provides 24 self contained apartments for older people.  A total of Ј168,143 has been spent on a refresh at the independent living scheme which provided modern new kitchens in all of the apartments, communal area redecoration, and a make-over for the tenant’s common room.


Clanmil tenant; Betty Potter enjoying her fabulous new kitchen.
 
The work at The Imperial is part of a major five year maintenance programme which will see over Ј8 million invested in Clanmil’s properties throughout Northern Ireland.
 
Tenants at The Imperial were given their choice from a range of kitchen designs and also helped pick out new curtains, chairs and flooring for the scheme’s communal lounge.
 
Betty Potter, from The Imperial couldn’t be more delighted with the work.  She says:
 
“I just love my new kitchen.  We all got to pick our own cupboards and worktops and had a great time weighing up all the choices.  When our kitchens were being replaced the workmen covered everything up and left the place tidy at the end of every day. They couldn’t have been better – so considerate and polite.
 
“We also chose lovely new chairs, curtains and flooring for our tenants’ lounge and the place is looking very smart.  We have some great get-togethers here so we’ll really enjoy our new decor.”
 
Work at The Imperial also included power washing and painting to the exterior of the building, as well as redecoration and lighting upgrades in communal areas to match the new furniture and dйcor.
 
Adrian Redmond, Group Director of Assets at Clanmil said:
 
“We’re delighted that Betty and her neighbours are happy with the work that we’ve completed at The Imperial and that they’re settling back into life at their refreshed and refurbished scheme.
 
“We know that there is potential for some disruption during refurbishment work like this so we’ve appointed a dedicated tenant liaison officer who is helping to co ordinate the work with our tenants.  We’re very grateful to them all for their patience during the work.

“In the past year we’ve invested Ј4.2m in improving and redecorating our homes, demonstrating our commitment to providing our tenants with high quality homes they can be proud of.”

WORK UNDERWAY ON NEW Ј9 MILLION HOUSING SCHEME

11 May 2015

Renee Crawford of Lenadoon Community Forum today officially cut the first sod to launch the development by Clanmil Housing of 64 family homes near Colin Glen Forest Park on the Glen Road in Belfast.


Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing Group helps Renee Crawford of
Lenadoon Community Forum officially cut the first sod at a Ј9m housing
scheme on the Glen Road. Also pictured are (L-R) Sharon Beatty of NIHE,
Cllr Tim Attwood and Clare McCarty and Joy Scott of Clanmil Housing.

 
The development, when completed, will provide 13 four bedroom houses, 33 three bedroom houses and 18 two bedroom houses and is being built by Clanmil Housing Association with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.
 
Welcoming the new homes Ms Crawford said:
“These are much needed family homes in an area of high demand.  Lenadoon Community Forum has and will continue to work with Clanmil to ensure the needs of families in this area are met through the provision of quality lifetime social housing and the community infrastructure required by those who will live in this new housing development”

Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing Group helps Renee Crawford of
Lenadoon Community Forum officially cut the first sod at a Ј9m housing
scheme on the Glen Road watched by Cllr Tim Attwood.

 
Energy efficiency features including a heat recovery system, triple glazing and high levels of insulation will help reduce heating and energy bills for the families who live in the new homes.  In addition, all of the homes have been designed to Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes standards, ensuring added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.
 
A significant central green area including play space will be included in the development.
 
Steve Amos, Chair of the Clanmil Housing Group said:
“Clanmil is committed to providing high quality, affordable homes that really meet people’s needs and we are delighted to see work start on the construction of these new homes. Well designed houses and low running costs, combined with space to play, will make this development the perfect place to raise a family.
 
“We are grateful to the local community and elected representatives who worked with us to bring this scheme to this stage. We look forward to welcoming families to their new homes in Spring 2017 and to continuing our partnership with the local community and their representatives to make this a great place to live.”

Mayor Welcomes New Ballyvester Residents

29 April 2015

Aldeman Alan Graham, Mayor of Ards and North Down and council Chief Executive Stephen Reid, today joined Clanmil Housing to welcome families who have recently moved into new homes at Clanmil’s Ballyvester Grove and Close housing development on South Circular Road, Bangor.


Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham joined Clanmil Chief Executive Clare McCarty in welcoming Matthew Moore and his son Luis to their new home at Ballyvester Grove.
 
The first 22 families moved into the new housing scheme just before Christmas last year followed by a further 19 families in March.
 
The new 41 home scheme provides 24 three bedroom houses, 16 two bedroom houses and 1 four bedroom bungalow and is designed around a large central green space.  All of the properties have good sized gardens making them perfect for families.
 
The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham commented;
“It is a pleasure to visit the Ballyvester development now that everyone has moved in and I wish to congratulate Clanmill on this wonderful achievement. This impressive development offers energy-efficient housing with plenty of green, open space for families to enjoy. I sincerely hope that the residents enjoy their new homes and wish them every success in the future.”
 
Matthew Moore, who has just moved into Ballyvester Grove with his family said;
“After living in a small flat for the past few years our new house is a real luxury.  There’s plenty of room for all of us and the children love having their own rooms and the space outside to play.
 
“We’d been waiting for a new home for ages and had been watching these houses going up every time we passed by on the way to the shopping centre.  Every week the kids would ask if we were going to be able to live there.
 
“When I found out we’d got one of the new homes I decided to keep it a secret until it was ready for us to move in and I didn’t tell them until the day I got the keys.  They couldn’t believe it!  The excitement was incredible.  We moved in the very next day.”
 
“We’ve only been here a few weeks but it already feels like home and I’m really looking forward to watching the kids grow up here,” added Matthew.
 
The new homes have been built to high energy-efficiency standards with photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate electricity, a water recycling system to reduce water use and high levels of insulation to help reduce heating and energy bills for the families who live there.
 
Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing Group, Clare McCarty said;
“At Clanmil we are committed to providing housing that really meets our tenants' needs, not just in terms of quality homes and affordable rents, but also in relation to the cost of living in those homes.  These homes have been designed and built to a very high environmental standard, making them more energy efficient than standard houses and considerably cheaper for our tenants to run.
 
“It is wonderful to see these families settling in and making the homes their own.  We wish them all many happy years at Ballyvester.”
 
Clare added: “We are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have supported us throughout the development of this scheme.  We look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that Ballyvester Grove and Close are great places to live.”
 
The new homes have been built by the Clanmil Housing Group with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive, through the Department for Social Development.

Naming Clanmil’s Newest Homes

22 April 2015

Work has begun on the construction of Clanmil Housing Association’s 64 much needed new family homes near Colin Glen Forest Park on the Glen Road in West Belfast.  This means it is now time to come up with a catchy name for the new scheme.

Clanmil has approached the nearby St Oliver Plunkett Primary School and has asked pupils there to put on their thinking caps, test their imaginations and come up with a unique and innovative name.

Clanmil is looking for a name that reflects the site’s surroundings or some other interesting aspect of the local area to use in the street names within the scheme when construction is completed around the end of 2017.

The best entries will be shortlisted and sent to Belfast City Council who will ultimately chose the winning name for the new housing scheme.
Carol McTaggart, Clanmil’s Group Director of Development explained why the Association is adopting this approach.  She said;
“This site will deliver much needed high quality new homes for West Belfast and we want to make sure it has a fitting name that reflects the local area. Who better to name it than the people who live in the area, some of whom may well soon be living at the new development?
“We’re hoping for lots of imaginative ideas and can’t wait to hear what the children come up with.”

TOP UK AWARD FOR CLANMIL FINANCE DIRECTOR

31 March 2015

Jonathan Boggs, Group Finance Director at Clanmil Housing has been awarded a top accolade at this year’s Housing Association National Accountancy (HANA) Awards organised by the National Housing Federation, the trade body for housing associations in the UK.

 
Jonathan was named Finance Director of the Year at an awards ceremony in Birmingham in March.
 
The HANA Awards celebrate the most innovative and progressive finance teams and individuals who are rising to considerable financial challenges while continuing to provide great customer service, financial stability and excellent conditions for investment.
 
In naming Jonathan Finance Director of the Year the judges commented; “This award is designed to honour a truly exceptional finance director.  The contribution of an individual heading a high performing team can make the critical difference between good and outstanding service.  The thing that made Jonathan stand out, was his wide range of achievements for the housing sector.”
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing, said;
“We are delighted that Jonathan’s excellence and commitment have been recognised in this way.
 
“A strong financial base is essential to support Clanmil’s work in providing great homes and services that matter for our tenants and since joining Clanmil 17 years ago, Jonathan has established an exceptional customer focussed finance team..
 
“One of Jonathan’s most outstanding skills is his ability to communicate complex financial information effectively at all levels.
 
“Through his expertise and innovation in financial management and investment Jonathan has had a huge influence on the housing sector throughout Northern Ireland and this award is a clear endorsement of that work on a national level.  We are very proud of his achievement.”
 
Jonathan joined Clanmil as Finance Director in 1998.

Safer Stronger Communities

10 March 2015

CRJ's Safer Stronger Communities Project has just launched the first ever "Restorative Estate" in The Demesne housing development in Newry.
 
This innovative new initiative, which was established in partnership with residents and Clanmil Housing and South Ulster Housing Associations, aims to bring the community together and to emphasise the strong community spirit in this area.
 
In the past, The Demesne had unfortunately received some bad press due to issues experienced when it first opened.  However CRJ has worked tirelessly with the community to resolve these issues through Restorative Approaches. The community want to demonstrate their pride in their area, and have said they won't accept negative perceptions. They feel The Demesne is a great place to live, and they want to make it even better for everyone.
 
Residents in The Demesne have shown their support for this initiative by signing up to a Community Charter in which they have agreed to use CRJ's Restorative Process should any further issues arise in the area. This early intervention approach will help resolve issues before they escalate or have a negative outcome. Restorative Justice brings people together, and helps them to get to the root of the problem to achieve a long term resolution for everyone.
 
Speaking about the official launch, Safer Stronger Communities Project Co-Ordinator Liz Kimmins said:
"This is a very exciting new initiative for this area. The residents are extremely supportive of the idea as they feel it is time their area was seen in a more positive light. The people of this area are proud people, and have already discussed ways in which they can further develop the community spirit by setting up a residents group. CRJ are really looking forward to working closely with the residents in the near future, to empower them to stand up for their community and continue to make it a great place to live."
 
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil said:
“Clanmil is committed to providing great homes where people are proud to live and raise their families and we welcome this opportunity to work with CRJ and our colleagues in South Ulster Housing Association to establish a Restorative Estate at The Demesne.

“Living in The Demesne, as a Restorative Estate, tenants are committing to deal with issues in a respectful and restorative way. This is really progressive and already we’re seeing an increased sense of pride among tenants who are keen to set up a residents’ group. We’re really looking forward to working with them to help ensure that The Demesne is a great place to live.”
 
Joanne Coyle, Head of Housing Management, South Ulster Housing Association said:
"South Ulster Housing Association is dedicated to facilitating tenants developing the areas in which they live to foster sustainable communities. This is achieved by working in partnership with the CRJ and our colleagues in Clanmil Housing Association in establishing The Demesne as a Restorative Estate."
 
Guest speaker at the launch event was Mr Alan Kibble from New Charter Housing Trust, Tameside (Manchester) who is a passionate advocate of Restorative Justice.
Mr Kibble spoke of the wide uses of Restorative Justice in service provision in England, in particular the housing sector, and emphasised the major benefits of Restorative Justice in reducing re-offending, solving neighbourhood disputes and making communities safer and stronger.

Clanmil Housing Helps Tenants become “Savvy Savers”

05 March 2015

The Clanmil Housing Group has launched an innovative new scheme offering its tenants an opportunity and incentive to start saving.
 
Clanmil’s Savvy Saver scheme is designed to promote financial capability by encouraging tenants to start saving regularly, whether towards big events like Christmas, or as a safety net in an emergency.  It has been introduced with the help of a donation of Ј15k from Danske Bank.


Jacqueline Macques, one of the first people to sign up to Clanmil’s new Savvy Saver scheme, with Clanmil Money Advisor Eddie Smith.
 
Consumer Council research carried out in November 2014 shows that social tenants struggle financially more than any other group, with 49% worried about making ends meet and only 46% saying they have savings compared to 70% of homeowners.
 
The Savvy Saver scheme runs in conjunction with local Credit Unions and every tenant who signs up will have their membership fee paid and a Ј5 deposit made to their account to get them started.  To encourage tenants to keep saving regularly, those who save at least Ј5 per week in their Savvy Saver account for 12 weeks will receive a Ј20 bonus.
 
So far Newington Credit Union in North Belfast and credit unions in Lisburn and Bessbrook have signed up to provide Clanmil’s Savvy Saver scheme and already more than 30 Clanmil tenants have joined.
 
Eddie Smith, Clanmil Housing’s Money Advisor explained why the association is encouraging its tenants to start saving regularly.  He said;
“We want to help our tenants build a level of financial resilience that will give them the peace of mind of knowing that they don’t have to borrow to pay monthly bills.  And when they need money in a hurry for unexpected expenses, they’ll be able to borrow at low interest rates from a Credit Union rather than feel their only option is an extortionately expensive payday loan.
 
“Along with our Money Advice service, the Savvy Saver scheme will also benefit Clanmil tenants who are struggling with debt or rent arrears.  It’s a starting point to getting them back on their feet and taking control of their finances.
 
“We really appreciate Danske Bank’s support in getting the scheme off the ground and look forward to bringing the Savvy Saver scheme to all of our tenants throughout Northern Ireland.”
 
Rachael Cray, Head of Money Affairs at the Consumer Council said;
“We are delighted to see the launch of such an innovative scheme to help social tenants save. We know this can be difficult as our research has shown that half of all social tenants are currently worried about making ends meet.
 
“It is particularly welcome given that our research shows that social tenants struggle financially more than any other group; only 46% say they have money saved for a rainy day compared to 70% of homeowners.  Despite positive signs emerging in the wider economy, 41% say they are actually worse off financially than they were two years ago, and only 6% say they have seen evidence of the ‘green shoots’ of an economic recovery.”
 
Jacqueline Macques, a Clanmil tenant who has signed up to the Savvy Saver scheme said;
“Saving for a rainy day makes sense but sometimes you need a bit of a push to get you started.
 
“When I heard about the Savvy Saver scheme and how easy it makes setting up an account, even starting you off with an initial deposit, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.
 
“It’s good to have some money put aside for those unexpected bills and it also helps make things like Christmas and the kids’ birthdays less stressful.  I’m determined to stick to my new saving habit.”

TOP AWARD FOR CAFFREY HILL HOUSING SCHEME

04 March 2015

Clanmil Housing’s Caffrey Hill family housing scheme on the Glen Road in West Belfast has scooped a top prize at annual awards organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing, the professional body for the housing sector.


The Clanmil team was joined by Caffrey Hill residents to receive the CIH award from Conor Mulligan, Director of Lagan Homes
 
The Housing Awards showcase excellence and innovation and recognise the housing professionals and organisations really making a difference in communities across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
 
More than 300 people attended a ceremony at Belfast City Hall on Friday 27 February where Caffrey Hill was named Sustainable Development of the Year.
 
The Ј26 million Caffrey Hill development, which was completed in January 2013, is home to 166 families and the award recognises its contribution to the economic and social sustainability of the area.
 
The development, which was part funded by the Department for Social Development and by the European Investment Bank through The Housing Finance Corporation, has brought the site of the former Bass Brewery back into use for the local community, providing much needed homes and bringing vibrancy and life back into this area of West Belfast.
 
The success of the scheme is the result of close community and political engagement.  The provision of a children’s play park and retail space, which Clanmil continues to actively market to encourage local business, reflects the Association’s commitment to investing in more than just houses.
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of the Clanmil Housing Group said:
"We are very proud of what has been achieved at Caffrey Hill and would like to thank everyone involved in making this scheme such a success.
 
“It is wonderful to see this historic site back in use for the community with families now well settled in their homes.
 
"At Clanmil we are committed to providing housing that really meet people’s needs, not just in terms of quality and affordable rents, but also in relation to the cost of living in their homes.  Not only does Caffrey Hill provide a really good place to live, but the homes have been designed and built to a very high environmental standard, making them more affordable to run."
 
Nicola McCrudden, Director of CIH NI & ROI said;
"The quality of this year's entrants was absolutely brilliant – congratulations to everyone who was nominated and of course to our winners. These awards celebrate the fantastic work being done by housing professionals, but perhaps more importantly they push us all to do better as a sector to improve people’s lives. The achievements of our finalists and winners will inspire others to provide the best possible services for tenants and communities across this island.”

Older Persons Commissioner Recognises vital role of Supported Housing for People with Dementia

06 February 2015

Two East Belfast supported housing schemes for older people with dementia have been recognised at the Northern Ireland Dementia Achievement Awards in Belfast’s Europa Hotel on 4th February for an innovative arts project.
 
Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court, which are owned by Clanmil Housing and managed in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, took first prize in the Dementia and the Arts Category for the pioneering intergenerational Lantern Lights project.


Clanmil Housing resident John Graham receives the Dementia Achievement Award for Dementia and the Arts from Linda Robinson Chief Executive of Age NI watched by residents and staff from Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court along with Amanda Leitch, Programme Director of NI DSDC (far right)
 
The Dementia Achievement Awards, organised by The Northern Ireland Dementia Services Development Centre (NI DSDC) and funded by DHSSPS and Atlantic Philanthropies, recognise the outstanding work of local companies, health care trusts and individuals with people who have dementia.
 
The Lantern Lights project, which was facilitated by Belfast Print Workshop, brought people living at Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court together with pupils from Ashfield Boys’ School to learn screen printing skills.  Weekly workshops provided a opportunity for older people living with dementia to engage with young people in a positive way and also helped de-stigmatise dementia for the young people.
 
Claire Keatinge, Older Persons Commissioner for Northern Ireland said:
"With more and more people living with dementia, it is essential that those working to support them are recognised and encouraged in the vital roles that they play.
 
“Working quietly in communities, the arts and health and social care settings, the outstanding contribution of those who go above and beyond to support people makes a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people living with dementia.
 
“The Dementia Achievement Awards offers a platform on which to recognise and celebrate the wide range of ways in which so many people make a difference to those living with dementia through working or volunteering, and I am delighted to support this worthy cause.”
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing is delighted by the award.  Clare said: “What we aim to deliver at Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court in partnership with the Belfast Trust is an active and rewarding lifestyle.  Initiatives like the Lantern Light project help us to achieve this.
 
“There is a growing body of evidence that engagement with the arts can improve quality of life for older people and our tenants have a noticeable sense of well being during and after each project session.”
 
Clare continued; “Supported living in the community offers an alternative to residential care for people with dementia that focuses on maintaining quality of life and Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court are excellent examples of partnership working between Clanmil, Belfast Trust and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s Supporting People Programme.
 
There are currently 19,000 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland.  This figure is expected to rise to 61,000 by 2051.
 
Amanda Leitch, Programme Director of NI DSDC said:
“Staff at Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court have demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of life for people who live with dementia.
 
“Providing care that improves quality of life for people with dementia can be challenging, often needing people to go to extra ordinary lengths, in extra ordinary circumstances, but their commitment has been acknowledged by our judges. I extend my congratulations.”
 
More information about Mullan Mews and Sydenham Court can be found at www.clanmil.org or by calling Sinead Hyndman at Mullan Mews on 028 90466154 or Gillian Dawson at Sydenham Court on 028 90651945.

Storey welcomes young adults to their new homes in Downpatrick

04 February 2015

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA officially opened Clanmil Housing’s new Ј630,000 supported living scheme in Downpatrick today.

The scheme is based in a refurbished, four storey, listed Georgian building at English Street. It will house eight young people leaving the care system and will give them support to learn the life skills required to move to more permanent accommodation in the future.


Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey officially opens 9 English Street assisted by tenant, Carl and Clanmil Group Chair, Steve Amos

Speaking at the opening, of the new scheme, Minister Storey said: “This is a great facility which will make a huge difference to the daily lives of some of our most vulnerable young people. My Department has been able to help put in place not just the bricks and mortar element here, but also the ongoing support through the Supporting People programme.

“Together with the funding from Clanmil Housing and the management of the property by MACS Supporting Young People we can help these young people move towards independent living.”

Health Minister Jim Wells said: “Supported living offers a much-needed alternative to children’s homes and fostering for some vulnerable people in their late teens, who are unable to live with parents and family. This impressive facility provides a safe, homely environment for those young people, helping them to make the transition from mainstream care to living more independent lives.

“This project demonstrates how important it is that we continue to work together, across government and voluntary sectors, to deliver the safe, high quality living environment for those who need it most.”

Steve Amos, Chair of the Clanmil Housing Group, said: “We are delighted to see this lovely old building back in use as home to young people who are getting to grips with living independently for the first time. The scheme helps young people who are not quite ready to take on the responsibilities of managing a place of their own to get the experience they need while benefitting from the fantastic support that MACS staff provide.

“Our vision at Clanmil is for everyone to have a great home and we are absolutely delighted to be part of a scheme that sets young people off on the right path to becoming responsible tenants and good neighbours.”

Sinead O’Flaherty, Service Manager at MACS said: “We are delighted to be able to expand our range of support to young people within the South Eastern Trust area. The addition of Supported Housing to MACS Downpatrick sees the integration of our established Floating Support Service with a dedicated housing support team. From this scheme, we are providing housing related support and interventions to 75 young people in the community and to eight young people in self contained accommodation here at English Street.

“This initiative is the culmination of partnership working between Supporting People, The South Eastern Trust, Clanmil Housing and MACS.”

Sweet, Sweet Victory for James

03 February 2015

Over the past few weeks we’ve been mixing things up at Clanmil, testing our gastronomic talents in the Great Clanmil Bake-Off for a very worthy cause.

Despite the absence of a large white tent and colourful bunting, there has been no shortage of tasty treats thanks to this, the first in a year long programme of fundraising events for Clanmil’s nominated charity for 2015, The Welcome Organisation which supports homeless people in Belfast.


Chef and restaurateur Michael Deane and pastry chef Charlie Chambers congratulate Development Officer James Wright, winner of Clanmil’s charity bake-off.

Twelve bakers competed for the title of top Clanmil baker and their efforts were judged by local culinary experts including Michelin starred restaurateur Michael Deane and his pastry chef Charlie Chambers.

After lots of tasting and much deliberation, Development Officer, James Wright was declared the  winner for his amazing chocolate orange cake.

Not only did everyone have a great time baking and sampling some truly amazing cakes, but the competition also added almost Ј300 to our fundraising pot in aid of The Welcome Organisation.  

Clanmil staff aim to raise Ј20,000 for the charity in 2015.

New Year, New Homes at Ballyvester Grove

30 January 2015

Clanmil Housing Association has welcomed the first tenants to its new housing scheme at Ballyvester Grove, South Circular Road, Bangor.

The first 22 homes at the new scheme were handed over to tenants just in time for Christmas.


Clanmil Housing Officer with new tenants Julie and Autumn Thompson who have recently moved into their brand new home at Ballyvester Grove in Bangor.

When completed in Spring this year, the scheme will provide a total of 41 much needed homes including 24 three bedroom houses, 16 two bedroom houses and 1 four bedroom bungalow.  The scheme is designed around a large central green space and all of the properties have good sized gardens making them perfect for families.

The new homes have been built to high energy-efficiency standards with photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate electricity, a water recycling system to reduce water use and high levels of insulation to help reduce heating and energy bills for the families who live there.

Chief Executive Clanmil Housing Group, Clare McCarty said;
“At Clanmil we are committed to providing housing that really meets our tenants' needs, not just in terms of quality homes and affordable rents, but also in relation to the cost of living in those homes.  These homes have been designed and built to a very high environmental standard, making them more energy efficient that standard houses and considerably cheaper for our tenants to run.

“We were delighted to hand the first of these lovely new homes over to our tenants.  We hope that they all have a Happy New Year and indeed many happy years to come at Ballyvester Grove.”

For the Thompson family, moving into Ballyvester Grove made Christmas particularly special this year, especially for 9 year old Autumn.

Autumn and her mum, Julie Thompson have been living in a Woman’s Aid refuge since July 2014 and after seeing the development plans for Ballyvester Grove in Bangor Julie contacted Clanmil to register her interest in one of the new homes.
 
Julie had told Autumn about applying for their own home with Clanmil, but had told her not to get her hopes up in case they were unsuccessful.  When Julie heard back from Clanmil saying she and Autumn would be one of 22 families moving into the first phase of the development she decided to keep it a secret so she could surprise her daughter.

On moving in day, Julie collected Autumn from school as usual, but instead of going back to the refuge they took a different route home.  Julie told Autumn she had a big surprise for her and as they drove towards Ballyvester Grove, Autumn guessed that her surprise was a home of their own.

Julie explained Autumn’s reaction.  She said:
“The smile on her face, was amazing.  She was so delighted and so overwhelmed that she was jumping and shouting with excitement.  Her reaction was what made it all worth while”

She continued:
“It is great to get settled in so Autumn can have a place where she feels safe and at home. No child should have to live in a refuge.  It’s lovely for her to get all of her toys into her new room and be able to have a place she can call home.”
 
Clanmil are committed to providing families like Julie and Autumn with homes.
Clare McCarty said:
“It is wonderful to see our first tenants at Ballyvester Grove settling so well into their new homes and we are looking forward to handing over the next phase to tenants in March.”

Supporting People saves public purse Ј125m per year

21 January 2015

Research carried out for NICVA has revealed that every Ј1 spent on the Ј65m Supporting People programme saves the public purse Ј1.90.

A detailed assessment of the financial impact of the programme was undertaken by SITRA. The findings published today estimate that, without the Supporting People housing support programme, additional costs of Ј125.05m per year would be incurred through an increased need for services in housing, health and social care, and criminal justice.

Click here to read NICVA's Supporting People report.

Introduced in 2003, the Supporting People programme provides a wide range of housing support services to help people sustain their accommodation and live as independently as possible in the community. Among the 26,000 people in Northern Ireland relying on Supporting People are the frail elderly, people with disabilities and homeless people.

Seamus McAleavey, Chief Executive of NICVA said: “With the current squeeze on public spending we need to know what works and what is value for money. Supporting people is a significant public expenditure programme and NICVA wanted to explore if it was value for money. The figures revealed in this research suggest that simply cutting the Supporting People budget is unlikely to save the government money, and may even result in greater costs overall.”

“Investing in Supporting People delivers a net benefit to government finances because, for example, it helps to reduce alcohol and drug use, homelessness, and the need for residential care – all of which create costs for the public purse.”

Cameron Watt, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations said: “Supporting People has been an immense success, enabling thousands of people to sustain their accommodation and live with as much independence as possible providing preventative housing support services. The new research confirms that it is worth every penny and saving taxpayers millions through avoidance of costly hospital admissions and reliance on other services.

“We welcome the fact that Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey and the NI Executive have protected the Supporting People budget for 2015-16. Service providers are working with government to reform services and make them even more effective.

“To protect vulnerable people and minimise pressure on other public services, it is vital that Supporting People is recognised as a vital ‘invest to save’ programme. To fulfil its objectives, the NI Executive must ensure Supporting People remains a properly funded, dedicated housing support programme well in to the future.”

Phil Saunders, Consultant at SITRA, carried out the assessment of the financial benefits of the Supporting People Programme. He said: “Our initial findings estimate that the total cost of providing services to the vulnerable groups who benefit from Supporting People is currently about Ј637.81million which includes Ј65.6million direct expenditure on the programme itself as well as the cost of other services received.

“The findings indicate that, by comparison, if Supporting People funding were not available some Ј762.86million would be required to fund alternative provision and deal with the cost of adverse life events, including homelessness, which would be more likely to be experienced by service users if the programme were withdrawn.

“The difference between the two figures, some Ј125.05million, is substantial and suggests that every Ј1 spent directly on Supporting People saves the public purse roughly Ј1.90.”

Client groups that benefit include:

  • Homeless people, those at risk of losing their home and socially excluded groups, such as substance misusers and ex-offenders.
  • People with long-term support needs, such as learning, physical or sensory disabilities and others experiencing enduring or recurrent mental ill health.
  • Vulnerable young people at risk and older people who require support to live in their own home, or need a particular type of supported housing.

Clanmil welcomes tenants to Greenwell Mews

18 December 2014

Clanmil Housing Association has welcomed tenants to its new homes at Greenwell Mews in Newtownards.
 
Clanmil has recently purchased the eight new apartments which were originally built for the private market but lay unsold and vacant for the past five years.


Mervyn Crawford (left) is welcomed to his new home at Greenwell Mews by Clanmil’s Housing Officer David Hamilton
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing said:
“There is a high demand for good homes in the Newtownards area and Clanmil is currently building 135 new homes in the town at Comber Road and on the site of the former Killard school.
 
“However, purchasing existing empty properties like these apartments at Greenwell Mews has allowed us to provide homes more quickly and also to bring vacant properties into use as much needed homes.
 
“It is lovely to see life in a building that had stood empty for some years and we are delighted to welcome our new tenants just in time for Christmas.  We wish them a very merry Christmas and many happy years at Greenwell Mews.”
 
James Hunter, one of the new tenants, who has just moved into an apartment at Greenwell Mews with his young family said:
“We are absolutely delighted with our lovely new home.  It’s really bright and modern and is just perfect for us.  We are very excited about being able to enjoy Christmas in our new home and just can’t wait to get settled in.”

Lower Oldpark Residents Celebrate First Christmas in New Homes

18 December 2014

Families living in homes at Lower Oldpark owned by the Clanmil Housing Group today enjoyed a Christmas party at Lower Oldpark Community Centre to celebrate their first Christmas in their new homes.


Lilee Fisher who enjoyed Clanmil Housing’s community Christmas party at the Lower Oldpark
 
The 26 properties in Mountview Street, Manor Court and Oldpark Road were extensively refurbished by Clanmil after lying derelict for a number of years bringing them back into use for family housing.
 
Residents living in neighbouring properties were also joined in the fun as a thank you for their patience during the refurbishment.
 
Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil said:
“It’s fantastic to see our tenants so well settled in their new homes and new community and we’d like to thank local residents, and especially the Lower Oldpark Community Association, for all of their support and assistance throughout the refurbishment.
 
“These homes, which had been vacant for quite a number of years, are now full of life again and our tenants are looking forward to their first Christmas in their new home.  A big thank you to the Community Association for helping us put on this wonderful party.  Everyone has really enjoyed the opportunity to get together and celebrate.  We’re looking forward to further developing these community connections in the New Year.
 
“We’d like to wish all in the area a very merry Christmas and, to our tenants, many happy years here at Lower Oldpark.”
 
Janice Beggs of Lower Oldpark Community Association said;
“Our community welcomes the new houses provided by Clanmil this year as part of the regeneration of this estate.  We are grateful for the Christmas party provided for new residents and neighbours and look forward to working with Clanmil in the future.”

Older people step back in time for Victorian Christmas

17 December 2014

A cast of Dickensian characters will roll back the decades at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra today to give more than 100 older people a taste of an authentic Victorian Christmas.


A cast of Dickensian characters rolled back the decades at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra to give more than 100 of our older tenants a taste of an authentic Victorian Christmas.  Pictured are Janet McCloskey who lives at Clanmil's sheltered housing scheme in Portrush with museum guide John Savage.
 
The special occasion, organised by Clanmil Housing and the National Museums Northern Ireland, is part of a unique Big Lottery project that gives older people living in sheltered housing a chance to take part in workshops and experiences at museum sites to help prompt memories and start conversations.
 
The five-year Treasure House project has been successful in helping to combat loneliness and establish new connections for more than 1,000 of Clanmil’s older tenants who have taken part in activities over the past 16 months.
 
The Victorian Christmas event brings the festive season alive with traditional arts and crafts, festive music and period costumes.
 
Brendan Morrissey, Housing Manager at Clanmil said:
“This is a great way for all the participants to reflect on and celebrate their achievements in the past 16 months of the project and to toast old friends and new. While the focus is very much on fun, Treasure House has been successful in helping to deal with difficult issues such as loneliness and isolation that sadly do affect many people in older life.
 
“Activities like this can have such a positive impact on quality of life by helping to keep body and mind active and by bringing people together to enjoy each other’s company while learning new skills and developing new interests.  Our tenants’ enthusiasm and excitement has been overwhelming and in the first year of the project more than 70% of those who attended one project session signed up for more.”

 
Sue Cathcart, Life Long Learning Officer for National Museums Northern Ireland, commented:
“The Treasure House Project uses National Museums’ unique collections to inspire our older citizens to tap into, explore and develop their creativity through a host of activities at our museums over the last 16 months. This is all about giving people the opportunity to try something new and exciting from making Egyptian Faience to learning about the history of flight in Northern Ireland.  We would like to thank all our volunteers, the Clanmil co-ordinators and our museum staff who all contribute to make this project  so exciting and successful.”
 
She added, “This Christmas event is a wonderful way to round up and celebrate a great year.  The Treasure House participants can take part in lots of traditional activities including Victorian crafts and a dramatic presentation from the talented Anderson’s town players.  And of course no Christmas party would be complete without a visit from Santa, who is bringing his wife along too!”  
 
Mrs Janet McCloskey, who lives at Clanmil’s Abercorn Court sheltered housing scheme in Portrush has been taking part in project sessions since Treasure House started.  She says;
 
“I really look forward to the Treasure House days out.  There’s always something different to see or do and I particularly enjoy the sessions that look back to how things were when I was younger.
 
“It’s lovely to be able to talk about days gone by, to share my memories and hear other people’s stories.  It’s given us all something new to think about and we’re certainly never short of something to talk about now.”

140 New Homes Planned for Derry

05 December 2014

Clanmil Housing Group today met with local political representatives to outline progress on delivering 140 new social homes within the Derry City Council area, and to call for assistance in identifying and securing land and development opportunities within the City that could facilitate more much needed new homes.


The Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson pictured at a breakfast meeting with local councillors, organised by Clanmil Housing Group at the City Hotel. Included, are Clare McCarty, Chief Executive, Carol McTaggart, Group Director of Development, Siobhan Kennedy, Development Officer. Back from left, are Shauna Cusack, Martin Reilly, Colly Kelly, Christopher Jackson, Avril McAllister, Housing Executive, Pat Ramsay, and Jonathon Boggs, Group Finance Director.
 
Clanmil plans to start work in Spring 2015 on the construction of the new homes at Northland Road, Victoria Road, Beechwood Avenue and Clooney Terrace.  Together the four developments will provide a total of 140 new homes for rent by people on the housing waiting list.
 
These homes are part of ambitious growth plans that will see Clanmil deliver some 2,000 new homes throughout Northern Ireland over the next three years.
 
The Association has successfully secured Ј120m loan facilities from Barclays and Danske Bank to support its plans and is working to identify and acquire development opportunities that will allow it to provide more great homes where they are needed most.
 
Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil said:
“At Clanmil we believe that everyone should have a great home and we are really looking forward to getting started on the construction of 140 new homes for Derry.
 
“We are also looking for further opportunities in the Cityside area that will help us provide more much needed homes and would be delighted to hear from anyone who knows of an available development site or existing properties that could help us meet particularly high levels of housing need in this area.
 
“We’ve had a very positive meeting today with local political representatives who we’re asking to work with us to help identify and secure sites, both private and public, that we can develop to provide more great homes.  We are very grateful to them for their support and assistance.”

Four housing associations agree Ј28m maintenance contract

25 November 2014

Craigavon-based contractor JMC Mechanical and Construction Ltd has been awarded a Ј28m contract to provide full maintenance services to four Northern Ireland housing associations.


Pictured are (L-R) Marcus Patton, Hearth, Beverly Surgenor, Abbeyfield and Wesley, Shane McCaffrey, JMC, Clare McCarty, Clanmil Housing Group, Karen Massey, Connswater Homes and James McCully, JMC
 
The deal will see the firm service 4,600 homes managed by Clanmil Housing Association; Connswater Homes; Abbeyfield and Wesley; and Hearth and follows the housing providers’ decision to leverage better value through a combined contract.
 
The move is designed to reduce costs, improve efficiency and ensure tenants receive a first class service that keeps their homes in excellent condition.

Members of our Maintenance Team who are working closely with JMC
 
The contract will see JMC provide a responsive maintenance service covering all building, mechanical and electrical works.  A social clause in the contract will also create a range of apprenticeships, training and work experience opportunities.
 
On behalf of the partnership, Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing said:
“We are delighted to welcome JMC to the team and look forward to working with them to provide a great maintenance service for people living in Clanmil homes and in those of our partner associations.
 
“This contract is a great example of the enhanced customer service that housing associations in Northern Ireland can provide by working in partnership together.
 
“It’s really important to us all that our tenants are happy with the maintenance service we provide and the customer focused service that JMC offers means that tenants will be given a two hour slot on a specific day when their repair will be completed.
 
“We were also keen that the contract should have a wider positive impact and have negotiated the inclusion of social clauses that guarantee apprenticeship and training programmes to help young people access employment in the construction industry.”
 
James McCully, Managing Director of JMC, said:
“We are all very pleased to have been awarded this contract. As well as helping to ensure our company’s long term stability, it will give us the opportunity to support local suppliers and local businesses and help tackle national problems such as youth unemployment.
“We believe regeneration starts at home and this contract will give us the opportunity to help regenerate local communities. We provide local jobs, use local suppliers, support local social enterprises and fund apprenticeship and trainee places for local people.
“We have vast experience working within social housing in Northern Ireland and we hope to show that our company can deliver an excellent service with quality workmanship to ensure tenant satisfaction.”

Homeownership Boost for Lisburn Couple

12 November 2014

A young Lisburn couple have purchased the first home under Clanmil Housing Association’s new Homeowner shared equity scheme at Mountview Drive in Lisburn.


Feiona Stewart, who has purchased the first of the refurbished homes at Mountview Drive in Lisburn though Clanmil’s Homeowner equity share scheme, with Clanmil Chief Executive, Clare McCarty.

Ryan Bird and Feiona Stewart are the first to benefirt from the Homeowner scheme, a part-ownership, part-rental deal that helps people who can’t afford to purchase outright to move onto the property ladder by allowing them to buy up to a 90 per cent share in a property and pay rent on the remaining share.

Homeowner is the first shared ownership scheme to be introduced as a result of the Department for Social Development’s Affordable Home Loans Fund. Under the scheme, Clanmil has made 20 properties available for purchase at Mountview Drive from as little as Ј360 per month including mortgage payment and rent.

The homes, a mix of detached and semi-detached properties, have been thoroughly refurbished with modern new kitchens, stylish new white bathroom suites, rewiring, replumbing and Pheonix Gas heating.  The many features include uPVC double glazed windows and doors, white panelled internal doors and redecoration throughout.

Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing said:
“It is a natural aspiration to want to own your own home and we are delighted to see the first purchase complete at Mountview.  Congratulations to Ryan and Feiona.  We hope that they have many happy years in their lovely new home.

“The Homeowner scheme makes homeownership much more achieveable than outright purchase and is a real alternative to market renting.  There has been lots of Interest in the Mountview Drive homes and we are working through the purchase process with quite a number of buyers at the minute.  There are, however, still some homes available, so it’s not too late to arrange a viewing.”

Ryan and Feiona, are delighted with their new home at Mountview Drive.  Feiona said;
“It’s so hard to take that first step onto the property ladder.  Saving for a deposit and securing a mortgage is a real challenge at the minute but the Homeowner scheme has allowed us to buy a share in a fantastic house in the area where we wanted to live.  We’ll be able to buy more of our home as it suits us, until we own it all.

She added; “We never thought we’d be able to afford a house like this.  We’ve got lots of space and it’s been modernised to a really high standard.  We don’t have to do anything other than move in.”

Clanmil plans to release around 100 new and refurbished homes across Northern Ireland over the next three years for purchase through their Homeowner scheme.

The refurbishment of the homes at Mountview Drive is scheduled for completion in Spring 2015 and there are still a number of properties available.

For further details please contact McClelland Salter estate agents on 028 9267 4121 or Clanmil Housing on 028 9087 6000. Or email .

Fun For all the Family at Caffrey Community Safety Day

30 October 2014

Clanmil Housing joined with the PSNI, Belfast City Council and CRJ today to welcome families from across the Andersonstown area to its Caffrey Hill family housing scheme to learn more about community safety while enjoying a fun filled day out.

The aim of the event was to help build community resilience by raising awareness of health and community safety issues and providing advice and information in a friendly, fun environment.

Belfast City Council and the Chest, Heart and Stroke Foundation provided information on keeping physically and emotionally fit at their health and wellbeing stall.

Local PSNI officers provided advice on home and personal security, while their spectacular but shocking live road safety demonstration highlighted the dangers of driving and how to minimise the risk of road accidents.

The Simon Community helped raise awareness of drug and alcohol abuse and provided information on support available.

Along with the serious messages, there was also an opportunity to enjoy fun and games, including a bouncy castle, cage soccer and art cart.

Tim O’Malley, Clanmil’s Community Development Manager said;

“It’s great to see so many families come together from across the community to become more aware of these important issues. We’ve over 250 people here and we hope that as well as having a lovely time, everyone takes home some useful advice that will help them make their home and community a safer place to live.

“We felt it was important that the event appealed to the whole family, with practical information for the adults and fun games and activities for the children. That way, everyone could be involved and enjoy this opportunity to get to know their neighbours better.

“We’d like to thank all of our partners who have helped make the day so successful.”

Welcoming the opportunity that the event provided to reinforce road safety messages, Sergeant Gary McDonald said:

“This multi-agency approach to delivering an event that highlights key community safety issues is really important. The road safety demonstration provides a very visible way of reinforcing the importance of keeping within speed limits. It also highlighted how using a mobile phone when driving can distract your attention and cause accidents.

“Local residents have told us that they felt the event was beneficial and acted as a timely reminder of the need to take care on the roads.”Alderman Frank McCoubrey, Chair of the West Belfast District Policing and Community Safety Partnership congratulated all the agencies involved in delivering such a successful event. He said;

“The event was a huge success and I want to thank our partner agencies for their support. The West Belfast DPCSP will continue working with our colleagues in various statutory and community organisations to improve community safety across West Belfast. Thanks to everyone involved with the Caffrey event.”

Clanmil Partnership Boosts Charity Recycling Scheme

06 October 2014

Clanmil Housing Association has joined forces with Habitat ReStore in Lisburn to ensure that building materials left over from the construction of its social housing developments are put to good use.


Clanmil Housing’s Group Director of Development, Carol McTaggart, Warnock Maxwell, Construction Director at T&A Kernoghan Ltd, and Clanmil’s Group Chief Executive, Clare McCarty deliver the first consignment of surplus building materials for the Habitat Restore DIY shop to Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat for Humanity NI.
 
Over the next three years, Clanmil Housing plans to invest Ј230m in building 2,000 new homes in areas of housing need throughout Northern Ireland. The Association is encouraging the contractors appointed to construct these new homes to donate any surplus building supplies, which are generally discarded once construction is complete, to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore outlet.
 
Habitat ReStore is a low-cost DIY store which sells donated new and used building supplies and home improvement materials to the public at 50 to 70% of the normal retail price.  Profits are used by Habitat for Humanity to support communities around the world by helping families in need to build homes and their way out of poverty.
 
Habitat for Humanity's first ReStore in Europe is at Riverside Centre, Lisburn and the range of products on offer incudes kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, bricks, paving, insulation, electrical goods, office furniture, and even the nuts and bolts to hold it all together.
 
As well as raising funds for Habitat’s international work, the store allows local families to purchase low cost materials while at the same time diverting tons of waste from landfill.
 
T&A Kernoghan, who are currently building 95 new homes for Clanmil in Bangor and Newtownards is the first of Clanmil’s contractors to sign up to the scheme.  They hope to donate between Ј30k and Ј40k of surplus materials from Clanmil sites to ReStore over the next three years.
 
Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil said;
“Our vision at Clanmil is for everyone to have a great home so we are delighted to support Habitat for Humanity in such a practical way.  While our focus is on building new homes for people in housing need here in Northern Ireland, the money raised by selling surplus materials from those developments will be put to good use by Habitat for Humanity helping people in some of the world’s most disadvantaged countries to build homes and escape poverty.
 
“Meanwhile, local people will benefit from cut price building supplies, making home improvements more affordable.  You could say that everyone is a winner!
 
“Well done to T&A Kernoghan for leading the way.  We hope that our other contractors will follow their lead and become involved in this very worthwhile project too.”
 
Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat for Humanity NI said:
“We are delighted that Clanmil Housing Association and T&A Kernoghan’s long standing commitment to partner with Habitat now includes support for Habitat ReStore.
 
“By donating surplus materials from their sites, Clanmil and T&A Kernoghan are reducing waste and doing their bit to create a sustainable Northern Ireland. By working together, we are serving the local community by enabling families to improve their home for less and raising vital funds to support families trapped in poverty around the word.
 
“We thank Clanmil Housing Association and T&A Kernoghan for their support and hope that many other companies will follow.”
 
Warnock Maxwell, Construction Director of T&A Kernoghan said;
“T&A Kernoghan ltd is more than happy to support Clanmil Housing Association by taking part in this initiative to donate surplus building materials to Habitat Restore.
 
“As a respected and long established builder of social homes throughout Northern Ireland, we believe that donating surplus building materials for such a great cause is an excellent idea which we know will ultimately benefit those in greatest need. This type of initiative is worthy of support throughout the entire construction industry in Northern Ireland and we are very proud to be the first of Clanmil’s contractors to offer our support and help to Habitat Restore.”

Ј3.6million social housing scheme in Dunmurry opens

24 September 2014

A Ј3.6 million social housing scheme for people over the age of 55 has been officially opened at Redwoods in Dunmurry.
 
The development known as the Semper Building, provides 44 one and two bedroom apartments for applicants from the social housing waiting list.  All have been provided by Clanmil Housing Association with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.


Mayor of Lisburn Cllr Andrew Ewing, Chair of Clanmil Steve Amos and Semper tenant Margaret McBride joined Stephen Martin, DSD (second from right) to cut a ribbon decorated by tenants with messages reflecting their first year at the Semper Building.
 
The building was originally built for the private housing market but lay unsold for four years before being purchased by Clanmil.  Today’s official opening also marks the Semper Building’s first birthday.
 
Conducting the official opening on behalf of the Department, Stephen Martin, Deputy Director of Housing Policy Delivery said: “I welcome the opportunity to officially open these new homes and see this fine building being put to such good use after lying idle for so long. This type of intervention where empty homes are brought back into beneficial use for the community is to be applauded.  
 
“The delivery of decent, affordable, sustainable housing for all is a key priority for the Department and this new development is a real, practical outworking of that commitment.”
 
The new facility has a staffed office on site alongside communal facilities including a resident’s lounge and an information/hobbies room.
 
Stephen Martin continued: “I’m pleased that Clanmil was able to work with the local community, the Department and the Housing Executive to designate the accommodation for the exclusive use of the over 55 age group. They have incorporated a resident’s lounge and information room where tenants can socialise and are to be congratulated for putting together such an impressive package.”
 
A unique feature of the opening ceremony was the cutting of the traditional ribbon by Stephen Martin and resident Mrs Margaret McBride upon which the residents had included messages and images about their first year living at the Semper Building.
           
Clare McCarty, Clanmil Housing Group Chief Executive said: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating the Semper Building’s first anniversary. Our tenants have settled really well into their new homes and have created a thriving community here. It is great to see such vibrancy in a building that had stood empty for some years.
 
“The Semper Building provides a great living environment for our tenants with easy to manage apartments, excellent security and a convenient location, all of which will help them continue to live independently in a home of their own as they grow older.”
 
Mrs Margaret McBride who has lived at the Semper Building since it opened a year ago said: “I moved to the Semper Building as I wanted somewhere that was easier to manage and I’m so glad I did. I just love my apartment. It’s so well laid out and finished to a really high standard. The security is a big plus. When you get a bit older the peace of mind that feeling secure brings is even more important.
 
“I’ve also made lots of new friends and we have quickly become a very close knit community. It’s just lovely to come home after work and know you can have company if you want it. I feel very lucky to live here surrounded by beautiful woodland. It’s been a really good move.”

Museum Project Helps Clanmil’s Older Tenants Stay Connected

28 August 2014

More than 100 older people from sheltered housing schemes throughout Northern Ireland have gathered at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum in Cultra to celebrate the first year of a five year Big Lottery funded project designed to improve the quality of life, health and self esteem of isolated older people.


Mrs Pat Charlton, aged 89, who lives at Clanmil's independent living scheme in Whiteabbey, celebrates a successful first year for the "Treasure House" project with Lennin and Jazzmin McClure, who helped entertain more than 100 tenants at an Edwardian Fete at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Participants, all tenants of Clanmil Housing, joined period characters at the museum for traditional fun and games at an Edwardian themed garden fete.

Research shows that loneliness is a major issue for many older people, with more than 66 million hours spent alone by people aged over 65 in Britain each day - equivalent to each person over 65 spending more than 100 days alone each year.

The “Treasure House” project, which Clanmil runs in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland, gives over 1,000 older people living in the association’s sheltered housing schemes the chance to enjoy regular workshops at museum sites throughout Northern Ireland.  Tenants take part in activities, including arts and crafts, local history, music and dance, that prompt memories, start conversations and help build friendships.

Colette Moore, Group Director of Housing at Clanmil said;

“This project encourages our older tenants to get out and enjoy social activities and make new friends.  By taking part they have opportunities to reminisce about the past and also to enjoy new experiences.”

She continued: “Activities like this can have such a positive impact on older people’s quality of life by helping to keep body and mind active and bringing them together to enjoy each other’s company. Our tenants’ enthusiasm and excitement has been overwhelming and in the first year of the project more than 70% of those who’ve attended one project session have signed up for more.”

Paddy Gilmore, Director of Learning & Partnership, National Museums Northern Ireland, said; “It has been an exciting year for the Treasure House project and there is much to celebrate. The focus of Treasure House is to enrich the lives of older people and promote the benefits of lifelong learning. This has certainly been the case and National Museums’ have been delighted to partner with Clanmil Housing on this worth-while project.  We look forward to continuing and developing this important initiative.”

Mrs Pat Charlton, who lives at Clanmil’s Cedar Court sheltered housing scheme in Whiteabbey has been taking part in project sessions for the past year.  She says;

“I really look forward to the Treasure House days out.  There’s always something different to see or do and I particularly enjoy the sessions that look back to how things were when I was younger.

“It’s lovely to be able to talk about days gone by, to share my memories and hear other people’s stories.  It’s given us all something new to think about and we’re certainly never short of something to talk about now.” 

NORTHERN IRELAND’S LAST WORLD WAR I VETERAN COMMEMORATED

4 August 2014

A group of neighbours living at Clanmil Housing’s Savoy independent living housing scheme for older people in Bangor have spent the day together commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War I.


Tenants and staff at The Savoy were joined by Lady Sylvia Hermon MP, Cllr Peter Martin, Mayor of North Down and Baroness May Blood for the unveilling of a plaque to commemorate the life of former resident Thomas Shaw, Ireland’s the longest surviving WW1 veteran who lived at the scheme until his death in 2002.
 
The tenants had organised a day long programme of events focusing on remembering the life of Thomas Shaw, Northern Ireland’s longest surviving World War I veteran, who lived at The Savoy until his death in 2002 aged 102.
 
Mr Shaw, originally from Belfast, served in 1914 and again from 1916 to 1919.
 
He first enlisted as a rifleman in 1914 at age 15 but was sent home from the battlefield when his brother, a military policeman, met him by chance in France.  In 1916 Mr Shaw joined the 16th battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles and was again posted to France, fighting in battles such as Messines and Passchendaele.  He served in Germany as part of the Army of Occupation for six months after the war ended and returned home in April 1919.  Mr Shaw lived at The Savoy in Bangor with his wife Nell for the 12 years until his death in 2002.

 
The Savoy’s day of remembrance started with the laying of a wreath at Mr Shaw’s grave in Clandeboye Cemetery in Bangor followed by a memorial service at the scheme.  An Ulster History Circle plaque was also unveiled at the scheme by North Down MP, Lady Sylvia Hermon and Mayor of North Down, Cllr Peter Martin.
 
The tenants and their guests also enjoyed a poppy lunch together and an old time supper dance in the evening.
 
Sam Girvan, Clanmil Housing’s Scheme Co-ordinator at The Savoy said:
“Here at The Savoy we feel a special connection to World War I because of Tommy Shaw.    Despite the fact that he was the last living combatant of the Great War living in Ireland he didn’t like a fuss to be made about his years of service.  He was a very quiet and unobtrusive man.
 
“Those of us who knew him felt really privileged and in remembering Tommy today we are honouring all who served in World War I and the sacrifices they made for their country.”
 
The Savoy housing scheme provides 56 self contained independent living apartments for older people.

OPEN DAY AT NEW DOWNPATRICK HOUSING SCHEME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

20 June 2014

A new supported housing scheme for young people in Downpatrick threw open its doors today to welcome local people who had been invited to come along and meet their new neighbours.

The scheme in English Street is owned by Clanmil Housing Association and managed by MACS, working in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Northern Ireland Housing Executive.  It provides self contained accommodation for young people aged 16 to 21 years who are leaving care or experiencing homelessness. 



The Grade B1 listed building has been extensively refurbished by Clanmil to provide two bedsits and six 1 bed apartments along with office and meeting space and overnight facilities for staff.  The refurbishment project was part funded by the Department for Social Development through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the accommodation is available to young people referred to MACS by the Health Trust and by NIHE.

The support provided by MACS helps prepare young people for life in a home of their own in the future.  On site staff support tenants to learn the skills needed to run a home and to be a good neighbour along with employability skills.  Each young person is supported to move on to a more permanent home of their own within two years.

Colette Moore, Group Director of Housing at Clanmil Housing, said:
“We are delighted to see this lovely old building back in use as home to young people who are getting to grips with living independently for the first time.

“The scheme helps young people who are not quite ready to take on the responsibilities of managing a place of their own to get the experience they need while benefitting from the fantastic support that MACS staff provide.  

“Our vision at Clanmil is for everyone to have a great home and we are absolutely delighted to be part of a scheme that sets young people off on the right path to becoming responsible tenants and good neighbours.”

Terri, who moved into the new scheme in April said:
“Living in English Street is good for me. It’s taught me how living on my own is hard but if I need extra help I’ve always got the support of MACS staff.  It has helped me so much and I’m thankful for my project worker.”

Sinead O’Flaherty, Service Manager at MACS said:
“We are delighted to be able to expand our range of support to young people within the South Eastern Trust area.  This new addition to supported housing sees the integration of our existing and established Floating Support Service with a dedicated housing support team.

“Operating out of the new scheme in English Street, MACS are providing housing related support and interventions to 79 young people in the community as well as to eight young people living in self contained flats in partnership with Clanmil, Supporting People and the South Eastern Trust.  The accommodation provided also includes two immediate access, short stay bedsits for 16/17 year olds presenting as homeless.”

The support services provided are funded by Supporting People and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.

Brian O’Kane, the Housing Executive’s Assistant Director of Regional Services, has welcomed the new service.  He said:
“Helping people to live as independently as possible is at the core of the Housing Executive’s work.  This new supported living scheme will make a welcome contribution to assisting young people to develop the skills to move on to independent living.”  

Jacqui McGarvey, Assistant Director for Cared for Children within the South-Eastern Trust, said:
“We are delighted with the opening of this new facility which will offer a much needed locally based service to young people making the transition through care to greater independence, as well as to those young people who experience homelessness. The project will significantly contribute to delivering better outcomes and enhance the life opportunities to these young people.”

Clanmil welcomes first tenants to Dobsons Way

12 June 2014

Clanmil Housing Association has welcomed the first tenants to its new Dobsons Way family housing development in Bessbrook.

The first 11 homes in the 62 unit scheme have been handed over to tenants and a further 13 families will be moving into their new houses this week.  The remaining homes have all been allocated to families on the housing waiting list and will be handed over to them in phases over the summer.


Housing Officer Carrie Fegan welcomes Lorna Brown and her son Conor to their new home at Dobsons Way in Bessbrook

The homes have been built to the Code for Sustainable Homes high energy efficiency standard and to the Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.

Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing said:
“This scheme provides 62 much needed homes in an area with high demand for quality affordable housing and we are really pleased to see the first tenants moving into their lovely new homes.  We wish them, and everyone who will live here, many happy years at Dobsons Way.”

Clare added: “We are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have supported us in delivering this scheme.  We look forward to continuing to work with them to help our tenants settle into their new homes and new community and to ensure that Dobsons Way is a great place to live.”

Lorna Brown has just moved into her new home at Dobsons Way with her sons Conor and Dane.  Lorna said:
“We are absolutely delighted with our lovely new home.  It’s really bright and modern and is just perfect for us, particularly for Conor with his wheelchair.

“I’ve had a chance to meet most of my new neighbours and we’re all really excited about our new homes.  We just can’t wait to get settled in.”

The scheme’s name, Dobsons Way, which reflects the site’s location close to Dobson’s Pond, was suggested by St Paul’s High school pupils Chea McArdle and Christian Mathews.

WINNING NAME FOR NEW GLENGORMLEY HOUSING SCHEME

11 June 2014

Clanmil Housing Association’s new housing development for active older people at Antrim Road in Glengormley has been named Glenann Court thanks to the help of the Newtownabbey Senior Citizens Forum.


Anne Watson, Chair of Newtownabbey Seniors Citizen’s Forum joined Senior Development Officer Damien Teague to congratulate Forum member, Isabel Beveridge (centre) on coming up with the winning name for Clanmil’s new apartment development in Glengormley.

Clanmil ran a competition with Forum members in search of an imaginative name for the new development of 21 apartments. The name, Glenann, was suggested by Isabel Beveridge, and was chosen as the winning name for the new scheme by Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Isobel combined “Glen” for Glengormley with “Ann” for Antrim Road to come up with the highly original name Glenann.

The apartments are being built to high energy efficiency standards. In addition they have been designed to Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes standards, ensuring added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date. Features of the new building include lifts, covered car parking and a roof terrace for use by the tenants.

Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil Housing, is delighted with the new name.  She said;
“I would like to thank the Senior Citizens Forum for their help in coming up with such a great name for our scheme.  There were so many brilliant suggestions that it was difficult to chose but I think that Isabel has come up with the perfect name.

“Low running costs and excellent security at Glenann Court combined with its convenient location and a sense of community will help our tenants continue to live independently in an easy to manage home of their own and we’re really looking forward to welcoming them to their new homes early next year.”

The development, which is being built by Clanmil with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development, will provide a range of one and two bedroom apartments designed specifically for active older people and is scheduled for completion in January 2015.

CAFFREY HILL IS RICS BEST RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

14 May 2014

Clanmil Housing Association is delighted that its Caffrey Hill family housing scheme has taken first place in the residential category of this year’s RICS awards.which showcase Northern Ireland’s most inspirational initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment.



The Ј26 million development, which was completed in January 2013, is home to 166 families and a true example of successful partnership working.

Built for Clanmil by a joint venture between T&A Kernoghan and Collen Construction and part funded by the Department for Social Development and the European Investment Bank via the Housing Finance Corporation, the scheme has brought the former Bass Brewery site back into use for the local community, providing much needed homes and bringing vibrancy and life back into this area of West Belfast.

The success of the scheme is the result of close community and political engagement and the provision of a children’s play park and retail space, to encourage local business, reflects Clanmil’s desire to invest in more than just houses.

Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of the Clanmil Housing Group said:
"We are very proud of what has been achieved at Caffrey Hill and would like to thank everyone involved in making this scheme such a success. 


“It is wonderful to see this historic site back in use for the community with families now well settled in their new homes.

"At Clanmil we are committed to providing housing that really meets our tenants' needs, not just in terms of quality homes and affordable rents, but also in relation to the cost of living in those homes.  Not only does Caffrey Hill provide our tenants with a really good place to live - a place they can call their own, where they feel settled and secure and where they are happy to raise their families - but the homes have been designed and built to a very high environmental standard, making them over 40% more energy efficient that standard houses and considerably cheaper for our tenants to run."

The McManus family moved into their new home at Caffrey Hill in November 2012.  Mum, Anne said;

“We were so pleased to be offered one of these lovely houses by Clanmil and we’re well settled in now.  It’s really bright and modern with plenty of room for us all.  The kids love living here.  They particularly enjoy the play park and all the open space.  It’s great to have somewhere so close where they can run around and play safely.”


Clanmil, which currently owns and manages over 3,500 homes, recently announced a Ј120 million private finance package which will help fund the provision of some 1,600 much needed new social and affordable homes.  The Association is seeking development opportunities in areas of housing need throughout Northern Ireland and wants to hear from landowners who have sites with development potential.


CLANMIL SECURES Ј180 MILLION FOR HOMES AND JOBS

01 April 2014

Clanmil Housing Group today revealed details of a finance deal that will inject up to Ј180m into social housing and the wider economy.


Pictured are Jonathan Boggs, Clanmil Housing; Chris Martin, Danske Bank; Nelson McCausland, DSD Minister; Steve Amos, Clanmil Housing Chairman; Simon Hamilton, DFP Minister; Joanna McArdle, Barclays Bank; and Cameron Watt, NIFHA.
 
The deal, the largest-ever of its kind in Northern Ireland, secures loans of Ј75m from Danske Bank and Ј45m from Barclays. Some Ј100m of this finance will be invested in building new social homes and the remainder used to refinance existing loan facilities.
 
The funding will also enable Clanmil to access up to Ј80m in statutory funding from the Department for Social Development and kick-start construction of 1,600 much-needed social homes that will house up to 5,000 people.
 
The investment is expected to generate almost 600 construction jobs over four-years and support more than 400 associated jobs in the supply chain.
 
Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing, said: “This is really good news in a tough lending market.  Faced with growing demand for social housing and increasing constraints on statutory funding, our challenge is to find new funding sources that will support continued investment in social housing and make the available public money go further.
 
“Thanks to strong working relationships with both banks and their confidence in Clanmil’s financial management, we have been able to agree a mix of funding at very competitive rates and with a range of tenures to support the delivery of such a large affordable housing investment programme.
 
“This funding leaves Clanmil well placed to continue to play a major role in the provision of good affordable homes for people in housing need.  The Northern Ireland economy will also benefit from much needed jobs for the local construction industry.”
 
Welcoming the announcement of additional funding by Clanmil, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “This funding will help provide an additional 1,600 social homes throughout Northern Ireland and will be welcomed by prospective tenants and the building industry. The next three years of the Social Housing Development Programme will see housing associations significantly step up output to deliver 2,000 new homes each year. Clanmil will play a key role in achieving these targets and this Ј120 million loan will be invaluable in partnering match funding from my Department to allow these ambitious targets to be met.”
 
Commenting on the financial package, Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “The financial package announced today demonstrates a growing confidence in an economy where banks are prepared to invest in sound projects such as the planned housing schemes. It is good news for those in need of housing, good news for jobs and good news for the construction sector.”
 
Chris Martin, Corporate Banking Manager, Danske Bank said: “We are delighted to have played a major role in the success of this landmark deal that is now progressing within Northern Ireland’s growing social housing sector.  We have been working closely with those involved in the sector for a number of years, offering strong lending support, tailored expertise and have an established working relationship with the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations. This highly significant deal will be a great boost for Clanmil and of course for the thousands of people that will benefit through the provision of these new homes”.
 
Joanna McArdle, Director, Barclays said: “Barclays is keen to support the Department for Social Development’s targets for social and affordable housing.  We are delighted to help finance Clanmil’s housing development programme over the next 4 years, which will provide a much needed injection of funding and jobs into the local construction industry.   Clanmil has had a valued relationship with Barclays since 2007, and this additional funding of Ј45m means we will have advanced Ј80m to the Association in recent years.  In total, Barclays has lent over Ј300m to the social housing sector, making it the number one lender to this vitally important sector in Northern Ireland.”

Clanmil Boosts First-time Buyers

25 March 2014

Clanmil Housing Association today confirmed details of a new initiative to move first time buyers onto the property ladder.

The Homeowner scheme is a part-ownership, part-rental deal to help people who can’t afford to purchase outright buy up to a 90 per cent share in a property and pay rent on the remaining share.


Social development Minister Nelson McCausland and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton joined Chair of Clanmil Steve Amos (centre) to launch the new scheme.

It is the first shared ownership scheme to be introduced as a result of the Department for Social Development’s new Affordable Home Loans Fund announced last week and was launched by Clanmil at Mountview Drive in Lisburn, where the first 20 properties will be available for as little as Ј360 per month including mortgage payment and rent.

Clanmil plans to release around 100 new and refurbished homes across Northern Ireland over the next three years for purchase through their new Homeowner scheme.

Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing said:

“It is a natural aspiration to want to own your own home. Yet despite falling house prices and record low interest rates, first time buyers face another hurdle in the form of large deposits. It is particularly important that housing associations do what we can to help make homeownership achievable.

“The Homeowner scheme provides a more affordable option when compared with outright purchase and a real alternative to market renting. Customers can buy a share of their new home – initially between 50 and 90 per cent – while paying rent on the remaining share with the option to buy out the remaining share at a time that suits them.”

He added: “If we are to ensure a healthy and sustainable housing market for the future then we need to address the problems facing this group of borrowers. We are proud to be providing new affordable housing solutions for people in Northern Ireland and appreciate the support of community and elected representatives in this initiative.”

Nelson McCausland, Minister for Social Development, joined Clanmil for the launch of the Homeowner scheme.  He said:

“The Affordable Homes Loan Fund represents a Ј19m scheme which could potentially deliver 600 new affordable homes by 2020. At Clanmil’s Mountview Drive development in Lisburn, I saw for myself the immense value and potential of this Fund in providing high-quality, affordable homes to first-time buyers through an equity share scheme.”

The homes at Mountview Drive are refurbished former Ministry of Defence properties and a show house will open in April for prospective buyers. The homes are available to buy now and refurbishment work is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2015.

For further details please contact McClelland Salter estate agents on 028 9267 4121 or Clanmil Housing on 028 9087 6000. Or email .

New Ј19 million Affordable Home Loans Fund targets 600 affordable homes by 2020

20 March 2014

Housing Minister Nelson McCausland and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton have launched a new Ј19 million Affordable Home Loans Fund.



The fund, which will provide up to 600 affordable homes across Northern Ireland over the next 6 years, is the local application of the Get Britain Building scheme, which was set up by the UK government, utilising Financial Transaction Capital lending, to increase housing supply and support the construction industry.

At the launch of the first homes to be released under the scheme, at Mountview Drive, Lisburn, Housing Minister Nelson McCausland said, “The Affordable Homes Loan Fund represents a Ј19m scheme which could potentially deliver 600 new affordable homes by 2020. To help us achieve this target, I can confirm today that three Housing Associations have been successful in bidding for funding from the Affordable Home Loans Fund. Apex, Clanmil and Oaklee Housing Associations all submitted exciting and innovative proposals that will increase the supply of affordable homes in Northern Ireland, as well as bringing empty homes back into use. At Clanmil’s Mountview Drive development in Lisburn today, I saw for myself the immense value and potential of this Fund in providing high-quality, affordable homes to first-time buyers through an equity share scheme.”

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton also attended the launch today to witness the first scheme funded with Financial Transaction Capital Lending in Northern Ireland. The Minister commented: “The launch of the Affordable Home Loans Fund is good news both for the housing market and for Northern Ireland’s construction industry. The 600 homes provided through this Fund will provide an all-important step onto the housing ladder for many people, but will also promote economic growth, helping create and maintain jobs in the construction industry.”

CLANMIL HOUSING GROUP APPOINTS NEW CHAIR

18 March 2014

The Clanmil Housing Group, one of Northern Ireland’s leading housing associations, has announced the appointment of Steve Amos as Chair of the organisation.


Steve, who has been a member of the Clanmil Board of Management since 2011, takes the top role at the association which provides 3,500 high quality social and affordable homes throughout Northern Ireland for families and older people.
 
With almost 40 years experience in the banking and finance sector, Steve is set to lead Clanmil through the implementation of an ambitious three year strategy focusing on growth and community development.

In announcing Steve’s appointment Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of the Clanmil Group, said:
“With more demand for homes and increasing constraints on statutory funding, a major challenge for Clanmil is to find new funding sources that will support continued investment in social housing.  Steve has brought invaluable experience and insight to our Board that has helped us continue to deliver great homes and services for our tenants and I am very much looking forward to working with him as Chair to drive forward the next phase in our development.”
 
Over the next three years, Clanmil plans to provide a further 2,000 much needed high quality homes that are as economical to live in as possible, as well as delivering on a strong commitment to engage with communities in which we work on initiatives that promote access to opportunities for employment and financial inclusion.
 
Steve said;
“I am delighted to take on this new role, leading Clanmil through a very exciting and challenging period.  I have been very impressed by Clanmil’s focus on excellent customer service and the commitment of staff to making a positive impact on our tenants’ lives and I am looking forward to leading such a dedicated organisation.”
 
Steve, who lives in Holywood, Co. Down, takes over from Joan Baird who has retired after 4 and a half  years as Chair of Clanmil.  During Joan’s tenure Clanmil experienced significant growth, increasing its provision from 2,334 to 3,500 homes, and achieved and maintained the top assurance audit rating from the Department for Social Development in relation to its performance.
 
Steve runs a consultancy business advising small and medium sized businesses on their banking issues.

Ј11.5million investment delivers almost one hundred new homes for Newtownabbey

14 March 2014

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has visited the site of a new Ј11.5million family housing scheme by Clanmil Housing at Mill Road, Newtownabbey.

The development, on the site of the former Felden Government Training Centre, will provide 97 new homes for families on the social housing waiting list. The new homes are being built by Clanmil Housing Association, with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive, through the Department for Social Development. Completion is planned for October 2015.


Looking over plans with Minister McCausland are Peter Carson (left), Tal Ltd, Clare MCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing, Dermot O'Hagan, JNP Architects and Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing

Speaking during a visit to the site, Minister McCausland said: “One of my key priorities as the Minster responsible for housing is to deliver decent, affordable and sustainable homes, which are accessible to all.

“This new Ј11.5million housing development at Felden is but one example of this commitment in action. Upon completion almost one hundred more families will be able to access good quality accommodation through these 97 new homes.”

He continued: “Clanmil Housing is to be congratulated for the excellent design and delivery of this project. The houses are being built to the most exacting standards. The development team are to be applauded for also designing in good quality recreation space. Going these extra miles to help create and sustain a community in which people will want to live is very much to be welcomed.”

The new homes will be built to high energy efficiency specifications. All have also been designed to Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes standards, ensuring added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.

Steve Amos, Chair of the Clanmil Housing Group said: “Clanmil is committed to providing high quality, affordable homes for rent in areas of high housing need and we are delighted to see work underway on the construction of these much needed new homes for Newtownabbey, bringing this vacant site back into use for the community.”

“We have worked closely with local community and political representatives to get the scheme to this stage and very much appreciate their help and support. We look forward to continuing work together to make this development a really good place to live and raise a family, with great homes in an excellent environment.”

WINNING NAME FOR NEW HOLYWOOD HOUSING SCHEME

28 February 2014

Clanmil Housing Association’s new housing development at West Green in Holywood has been named Dunville Park and Dunville Link thanks to the help of the local community association.
 


Chair of Clanmil Housing Steve Amos (right) congratulates Bernard Budde (left) on coming up the winning name for the new Holywood housing scheme.  Also pictured is Louise Green, project worker at the Redburn and Loughview Community Forum, who helped run the naming competition.

Clanmil, assisted by the Redburn and Loughview Community Forum, ran a competition for local people in search of an imaginative name for the new development of 37 homes.
 
The name, Dunville, was suggested by Bernard Budde, a committee member at Redburn and Loughview Community Forum, and was chosen as the winning name for the new scheme by North Down Borough Council.
 
The name commemorates a famous Holywood family, the Dunvilles, who ran the Royal Irish Distilleries and who lived in the nearby Redburn County Park.
 
Work on the construction of the Ј3.8 million housing development started in March 2013 and is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2014.  The homes are being built to high energy efficiency and design specifications, including Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date. A significant central green area will be included in the development which is being designed in consultation with the local community.
 
Steve Amos, Chair of the Clanmil Housing Group who himself lives in Holywood, is delighted with the new name.  He said;
“I would like to thank the Community Forum for their continued support in the delivery of these new homes and for their help in coming up with such a fitting  name for the scheme.  We were very impressed by the standard and range of names that were suggested and I think Bernard has come up with the perfect name.
 
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming tenants to their new homes at Dunville Park and Link in the Autumn.”

Minister cuts first sod on £2.2m development

24 February 2014

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has cut the first sod of a new Ј2.2million social housing scheme on the Antrim Road in Glengormley.

The development when completed, will consist of 21 apartments and is being built by Clanmil Housing Association with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.


Clanmil Chair, Steve Amos and DSD Minster, Nelson McCausland cut the first sod at Clanmil's Ј2.2m development of new homes on the Antrim Road, Belfast

The one and two bedroom apartments will accommodate the needs of active older people with completion planned for January 2015.

Speaking during a visit to the site, Minister McCausland said:

“One of my key objectives as Housing Minister is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access good quality accommodation appropriate to their needs. I welcome the construction of these new homes which are being developed in response to a demand for this type of more easily managed accommodation.”

The Minister continued:-

“Clanmil is to be congratulated for the excellent design and delivery of this project including the added benefit of secure car parking. This feature in itself will be welcomed by the new tenants. I look forward to seeing the finished scheme in due course.”

The five storey apartments will be built to high energy efficiency standards. All have been designed to Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes standards, ensuring added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date. Features of the new building include lifts, underground car parking and a roof terrace for use by the tenants.

Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing Group said: “Clanmil is committed to providing high quality affordable homes that really meet our tenants’ needs and we are delighted that work has started on the construction of these new apartments which have been designed specifically for older people. Low running costs, excellent security and a convenient location combined with a sense of community will help our tenants continue to live independently in an easy to manage home of their own.

“We have worked closely with the local community and their political representatives in delivering this scheme and very much appreciate their help and support. We look forward to welcoming our new tenants to their new homes early next year.”

Australian Healthcare Charity Visit East Belfast Dementia Scheme to see Best Practice in Action

6 February 2014

Mrs Jean Kiddell, who lives at Mullan Mews supported housing for people with dementia in East Belfast, provides a warm Northern Irish welcome to Marie Alford, Head of Operations at Australian healthcare charity,  HammondCare.  Marie and her colleagues visited Mullan Mews, which is run by Clanmil Housing Association in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, as part of a fact finding tour of some of Europe’s best examples of dementia care.  In 2010 Mullan Mews shared joint first place with HammondCare in the International Dementia Excellence Awards organised by the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling.



WINNING NAME FOR NEW BESSBROOK HOUSING SCHEME

23 January 2014

Clanmil Housing Association’s new housing development at Green Road in Bessbrook has been named Dobsons Way thanks to the creativity of two local school boys.


Clanmil Development Manager Jan Sloan congratulates St Paul's High School pupils Chea McArdle and Christian Mathews on suggesting the winning name for the new Bessbrook housing scheme.
Clanmil approached the nearby St Paul’s High School in search of an imaginative name for the new development of 62 much needed family homes.  Over 40 inventive names were put forward by pupils at the school.  The name, Dobsons Way, which reflects the site’s location close to Dobson’s Pond, was chosen as the winner by Newry and Mourne District Council and came from suggestions by Year 9 pupils Chea McArdle and Christian Mathews.  Four runner-up names were suggested by Clare Ward, Natasha McCann, Sarah Kilgallon and Melissa Ward.

Teachers and pupils from St Paul's High School in Bessbrook have helped Clanmil Housing chose the name for its new housing development on Green Road in the town.  Pictured are (L-R) teachers Kellie McShane and Caroline Hughes, pupils Melissa Ward, Clare Ward, Chea McArdle, Christian Mathews, Sarah Kilgallon, Natasha McCann and Clanmil Development Manager Jan Sloan.
 
Work on the construction of the Ј7.8 million housing development started in July 2012 and is scheduled for completion in Autumn 2014.  The homes are being built to high energy efficiency and design specifications, including Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.
 
Jan Sloan, Development Manager at Clanmil, joined the pupils in their morning assembly and presented the winners with gift vouchers in recognition of their creativity.  She said;
“We were delighted by the interest the children and teachers at St Paul’s High School have shown in our development and very impressed by the standard and range of names suggested.  Chea and Christian helped come up with the perfect name for the scheme and we’re really looking forward to welcoming tenants to their new homes at Dobsons Way in the Autumn.”

Christmas Fun at Harbourview

20 December 2014

Families living at Clanmil Housing's Harbourview housing scheme in
North Belfast were joined at their Christmas party by Clanmil Chief
Executive Clare McCarty and Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children
and Young People Patricia Lewsley-Mooney.  Brothers James and Daniel
Devlin particularly enjoyed a visit from Santa and all of the families
received a hamper full of Christmas goodies. Picture: Michael Cooper


GENERATIONS COME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE DIGITAL AGE PROJECT

19 December 2014

People living at Clanmil Housing’s Bessie Bell Court independent living housing scheme for older people in Newtwonstewart were joined today by Year 7 pupils from Newtownstewart Model Primary School to celebrate the end of a successful intergenerational digital media project.


Bessie Bell Court tenants and friends with year 7 pupils from Newtownstewart Model Primary School who tool part in the Digital Age project.  Also pictured are Clanmil Scheme Co-ordinator Kelly McGuire (front left) , Carol Calvert Principal of Newtownstewart Model PS (front right) and John Harding, Digital Age tutor (back right).
 
The project was part of the Digital Age Project initiative which supports the technological advancement of older people while helping them to understand how relevant technology can be to their lives and was facilitated by Linking Generations NI and the Worker’s Educational Association.
 
As part of the project connections are formed between sheltered housing schemes and schools in their areas to foster long-term and meaningful relationships between the younger and older people.
 
People living at Bessie Bell Court and the children have enjoyed using the internet for research, interviewing each other and exploring digital photography to create a calendar, while learning valuable social and digital media skills through their interaction.
 
Over the past 8 weeks, with the help of tutor John Harding, a group of tenants from Bessie Bell Court have enjoyed digital learning sessions with the pupils in the school’s computer suite and have even joined them for lunch in the school canteen.
 
Today the pupils joined their friends at Bessie Bell Court for a celebration party to mark the successful completion of their calendar.
 
Kelly McGuire, Clanmil’s Scheme Co-ordinator at Bessie Bell Court said:`
“We encourage our tenants to lead active lives and getting online is one of the ways in which we help them stay connected with friends, family and the world wide community.  These newly acquired computer skills will enable more of our tenants to use e-mail and try out activities like on-line shopping and banking.
 
“Interacting with and learning from the children has made this project so much fun for everyone involved and we hope that we’ll be able to maintain and build the friendships formed over the past weeks through more joint events and projects in the future.”
 
Mrs Hazel Moore, from Bessie Bell Court has really enjoyed the project.  She said;
“It was great to go back to school for computer sessions with the children.  I’ve learned so much from them that will help me make the most of the computer equipment at Bessie Bell Court and make it easier for me to keep in touch with friends and family, shop online and just take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.”
Bessie Bell Court provides housing for older people in self contained bungalows and apartments, along with the support they need to stay in a home of their own as they grow older.  The facilities and services provided at the scheme help support independence, providing companionship, an active lifestyle and security in an easy-to-manage property.

CLANMIL TENANTS THANK VINEYARD FOR CHRISTMAS COMFORTS

18 December 2013

Residents at Clanmil Housing’s Church Mews and Ardnaskea Court independent living schemes for older people have received an early Christmas gift thanks to the generosity of the Vineyard Church.


Tenants at Church Mews and Ardnaskea Court who received Christmas hampers thanks to the generosity of the Vineyard Church
 
For the third year running people living at Church Mews in Dungannon are benefiting from the Church’s Christmas appeal, each receiving a hamper in the run up to the big day containing  a selection of groceries, everyday household goods and some luxuries to help them celebrate the festive season.  This year residents at Ardnaskea Court in Coalisland are also included in the hamper giveaway.
 
Hilary Johnston, Clanmil’s Scheme Co-ordinator at Church Mews, said:
“These hampers are a real help to people who may find it difficult to make ends meet.  Not only do they provide basic essentials but they also ensure that all of our tenants have a few special treats to enjoy over Christmas.  Vineyard do so much for our local community and everyone at Church Mews and Ardnaskea Court is very grateful to the Church for their thoughtfulness and generosity.

Clanmil’s scheme co-ordinators Hilary Johnston and Geraldine Talbot with Church Mews tenant Francis Kane and Patrick Hughes from Ardnaskea Court who received Christmas hampers from the Vineyard Church
 
“We wanted to show our appreciation by making some small contribution to this important community initiative so we’ve been helping Church volunteers to pack our hampers and those for the wider community.”
 
The hampers distributed to Clanmil tenants are part of the Vineyard Church’s Outward Focused Christmas which will see a total of 750 hampers delivered to vulnerable people in the Dungannon community in the lead up to Christmas.
 
Church Mews and Ardnaskea Court provide housing for people generally aged 50+ in easy to manage apartments.  The facilities and services provided help tenants stay independent as they grow older and to enjoy an active lifestyle.

McCausland opens Ј1.7million former army homes scheme

16 December 2013

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has joined Clanmil Housing to officially open a social housing scheme of former Ministry of Defence (MOD) properties at Dog Kennel Close and Dog Kennel Crescent in Lisburn.


Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing and Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland with tenant Jean Kerr and her son Dexter

The 20 former MOD houses were excess to requirements and have been purchased by Clanmil. The cost of provision, including purchase price, minor refurbishment costs and associated housing association costs was Ј1.7million, part funded by the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development with additional private funding from Clanmil Housing.

Minister McCausland said: “I am delighted to be here today to hand over the keys to the new tenants. These homes, which lay idle for two years, have been given a new lease of life and taken 20 families off the housing waiting list. I congratulate Clanmil Housing for having had the foresight to purchase these properties and return them back into use for the benefit of the local community.

"Too often empty homes can be a blight on an area and attract anti-social behaviour. However, we have seen the positives that can come from acting quickly when the opportunity arises.”

The Minister continued:”I welcome the fact that the stability of the wider community has been protected by our intervention ensuring a continuity of occupation that will bring new life and vitality back to the area. I would like to wish all the tenants well in their new homes.”

During a tour of the development, the Minister was showed round the new home of Jean Kerr and son Dexter who have just recently moved in.

Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil said: “Refurbishment has brought these once vacant homes back into use as much needed high quality affordable family homes and we are delighted to see our new tenants settling in and making them their own in time for Christmas. We wish Jean, her young sons and all of our new tenants at Dog Kennel Close and Crescent, a very peaceful first Christmas in their new home and many happy years to come.

“Clanmil is also progressing plans to purchase a further 36 former Ministry of Defence homes nearby at Mountview Drive. These homes will provide a mix of social homes for rent and affordable homes for purchase through Clanmil’s new Homeowner shared home ownership scheme which is designed to help people take that important first step onto the property ladder.

“We are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives who have worked with us in the delivery of these lovely homes at Dog Kennel Close and Crescent and in the wider Lisburn area.”

HEALTHY PRAISE FOR CLANMIL CAFFREY HILL DEVELOPMENT

11 December 2013

A playpark and community space at Clanmil Housing Association’s Caffrey Hill family housing scheme on the Glen Road in Belfast has been praised at the inaugural Healthy Belfast awards presented as part of Belfast Healthy Cities 25th anniversary celebrations.


Joy Scott, Heather Morrice and Roisin Donaldson from Clanmil Housing receive the
award from Patricia Lewsley-Mooney, Northern Ireland’s Commissioner for Children
and Young People.


Clanmil was highly commended in the Child Friendly Spaces category of the Healthy Belfast Awards for the green space and play facilities that have been provided as part of the 165 home Caffrey Hill development.  The commendation recognises Clanmil’s commitment to ensuring that, as well as meeting housing need, its homes and services also help develop and sustain communities.

Clanmil worked with Playboard and Groundwork NI in designing the community space at Caffrey Hill and the views of pupils from nearby schools and of local residents and community groups were incorporated into the final design.

Clare McCarty, Clanmil’s Chief Executive, is delighted that the success of Caffrey Hill’s community space has been acknowledged in this way.  She said;

“We are very proud of what has been achieved at Caffrey Hill and would like to thank our tenants for making this scheme such a success.  Providing good homes and a great place to live is about so much more than just bricks and mortar.  Community spaces like the central green and playpark at Caffrey Hill help to promote a sense of community and to create settled, harmonious neighbourhoods where people are proud to live and raise their families. 

“We are very grateful to Playboard and Groundwork NI for their help and guidance in creating a vibrant, much used, flexible space that has quickly become the hub of the developing community at Caffrey Hill.

“We are also very grateful to local community and political representatives who worked with us to deliver this development, and who continue to support us in promoting a good neighbourhood at the scheme.”

Belfast Healthy Cities Chair, Dr. Bernadette Cullen, praised the standard of entries received for the awards.

“Belfast Healthy Cities has been promoting wellbeing and a ‘health in all policies’ approach to addressing health inequalities in the city for 25 years. The partnership approach we have developed with statutory bodies and the community sector helps drive our agenda and the commitment these groups make is reflected in the standard of entries for these awards. As well as winners in each category, a number of projects have been commended for their work. We congratulate all those who entered the awards and of course especially our winners.”

Clanmil Kids Know the Drill

27 November 2013

To mark National Maintenance Week young Clanmil Housing tenants William Skimin (2) and Emily McKenna (4) get busy to help highlight the importance of looking after our homes.  Over the next 5 years Clanmil plans to invest Ј21 million in maintaining its properties to ensure they continue to provide great homes for families and older people.  Clanmil currently owns and manages 3,500 homes throughout Northern Ireland, a figure that is anticipated to rise to around 5,000 by 2018.



CAFFREY HILL CLEANS UP AT SUPERVALU BEST KEPT AWARDS

6 November 2013

Clanmil Housing’s Caffrey Hill family housing scheme in Belfast has taken a top title in this year’s prestigious SuperValu Best Kept Town, Village and Housing Area Awards.


Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil Housing and Housing Officer Roisin Donaldson joined Caffrey Hill tenants at a Halloween party to celebrate the Supervalu Best Kept award.  Pictured with Clare and Roisin are tenants Rosaleen Hynds and Paige McCann, who dressed as a cat for the party.

The awards showcase the great work carried out across Northern Ireland to brighten up our towns, villages and communities and Caffrey Hill took first place in the medium sized housing area category.

A commemorative plaque was presented to tenants at a Halloween party at Caffrey Hill.

Clanmil’s Chief Executive, Clare McCarty was delighted that Caffrey Hill had won. She said;

“Clanmil takes great pride in the way our housing schemes look and we have supported the Best Kept Awards for a number of years.  By taking an active interest in their own gardens, as well as taking pride in keeping the play park tidy, our tenants at Caffrey Hill, young and old, play an important role in making sure their scheme looks as good as it does.

“Caffrey Hill is a brand new housing scheme and this award is welcome recognition of how hard Clanmil Housing staff and everyone living at Caffrey Hill is working to make it such a great place to live.“

In addition, T&A Kernoghan and Collen Construction, Clanmil’s contractors at Caffrey Hill, recently won the social housing category of the Construction Employers Federation annual Construction Excellence Awards for the Caffrey Hill development.  This award is in recognition of the high build quality of the homes at the scheme.

Ј2.5 million investment provides homes for 26 families in Lower Oldpark

24 October 2013

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland today viewed Clanmil Housing’s social housing refurbishment scheme in the Lower Oldpark area of North Belfast.


The Minister joined Clanmil Chief Executive Clare McCarty and representatives of the Lower Oldpark Community Association and the NIHE to view the refurbished homes.

The scheme, estimated to cost Ј2.5 million once completed, comprises a mixture of 26 houses situated on Mountview Street, Manor Court and Oldpark Road. The properties which have lain derelict for a number of years, are being totally refurbished by Clanmil with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department for Social Development.

Speaking after viewing one of the refurbished homes, Minister McCausland said: “I am pleased to see these once empty derelict homes brought back into use. This Ј2.5 million investment will provide 26 families with newly refurbished homes and all the benefits that these bring. I want to congratulate Clanmil Housing, working in tandem with the local community, for their determination and innovative thinking in refurbishing these derelict homes and making them available for social housing once again.

“Empty derelict homes can be a blight on a community and attract anti-social behaviour. That is why last month I launched the new Empty Homes Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2018, which is part of my Housing Strategy “Facing the Future”. One of its primary aims is to bring empty homes across Northern Ireland back into use.

“I also want to maximise all opportunities to meet housing need. This housing refurbishment scheme at Manor Court is a great example of that in action and illustrates the many benefits in bringing empty homes such as these back into use. I will make further announcements on the Empty Homes Strategy as we move forward in the implementation of the Action Plan.”

The properties will be released in six phases with the first five new homes situated in Manor Court due to be handed over to tenants in November 2013. The remaining will be released in phases during 2014 with the last in October 2014.

Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil said: “Clanmil is making a significant investment to bring these once empty houses back to life as high quality, affordable family homes and we are really looking forward to welcoming our first tenants in the coming weeks followed by more families as the next phases are completed.

“We were nominated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to undertake this regeneration project and have been working closely with them and the Department for Social Development along with the local community association and political representatives in delivering these homes. We are very grateful to them all for their assistance.”

Clanmil launch new Ј3.8 million housing scheme in Holywood

03 July 2013

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has launched a new social housing development at West Green, Holywood.


Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland MLA cut the first sod on site watched by Gordon Dunne MLA, Carol McTaggart, Clanmil Group Director of Property and Asset Management and Mayor of North Down, Cllr Andrew Muir.

The new scheme comprising 31 two and three bedroom family homes, and six apartments designed specifically to meet the needs of independent older people, will be built by Clanmil Housing with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive. They will be built on a site previously occupied by two blocks of Housing Executive flats.

Speaking during a visit to the site, Minister McCausland said: “One of my key objectives as Housing Minister is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access good quality accommodation. This new planned development will ensure that and also see this part of Holywood revitalised.

“This new modern housing scheme developed in consultation with the local community will provide for a better layout in the area. It will place an emphasis on housing for families and older people that will contribute to, and help build on, the already strong sense of community in the area.”

The Minister continued: “I was also pleased to hear that a significant central green area has been included in the development and is being designed in consultation with the local community.”

The new homes will be built to high levels of energy efficiency. All have been designed to Secured by Design and Lifetime Homes standards which ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date. The scheme is planned for completion in September 2014.

Carol McTaggart, Clanmil Group Director of Property and Asset Management said: “Clanmil is committed to providing high quality, affordable homes and we are delighted to see work start on the construction of these much needed new houses and apartments at West Green, Holywood.

“We have worked closely with local community and political representatives to get the scheme to this stage and very much appreciate their help and support. We look forward to welcoming our new tenants next autumn and to continuing our partnership with the local community and their representatives in the delivery and management of these homes.”

 

Ј31 MILLION BOOST FOR HOMES AND JOBS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

25 June 2013

Social housing and the construction industry in Northern Ireland is set to benefit from a Ј31m boost as a result of a funding partnership between the Clanmil Housing Group and The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC).


Jonathan Boggs, Group Finance Director at Clanmil, was joined by John Armstrong, Managing Director of the Construction Employer’s Federation, to announce a Ј31 million boost for social housing and the construction industry in Northern Ireland as a result of a funding partnership between the Clanmil Housing Group and The Housing Finance Corporation.

A Ј17m loan from THFC will help Clanmil Housing access some Ј14m in statutory grant funding from the Department for Social Development, stretching public money with private finance to facilitate the construction of 300 much needed new social homes across Northern Ireland over the next eighteen months.

The funding has been provided by THFC through an aggregated bond issue of Ј55m funding 10 social housing borrowers, of which Clanmil is the largest participant and the only one from Northern Ireland.  At 4.31% for 30 years, this is one of the most competitive rates of interest for long-term borrowing ever achieved for UK Housing Associations.

Northern Ireland’s struggling construction industry will also benefit, as the construction of these new homes will secure almost 300 on-site jobs as well as supporting many more associated jobs throughout the supply chain.

Jonathan Boggs, Group Finance Director at Clanmil, said;

“This funding is very cost effective and really good news in a very tough lending market.  Faced with growing demand for social housing and increasing constraints on statutory funding, our challenge is to find new funding sources that will support continued investment in social housing and make available public money go further.

“Last year Clanmil delivered the largest portion of Northern Ireland’s social housing new build programme, 355 new homes, and this funding leaves us well placed to continue to play a major role in the provision of good affordable homes for people in housing need.

“The Northern Ireland economy will also benefit from much needed jobs for the local construction industry.”

Mr Boggs added;

“A good home is so much more than just a roof over your head.  It is fundamental for our health and well-being, providing better quality of life and increased opportunities for our tenants.”

Piers Williamson, THFC's Chief Executive, said; "As a not-for-profit finance company, our job is to help our customers build more houses.  We particularly value working with Clanmil as a highly professional housing association and are delighted to have delivered them such a cost-effective funding solution."

John Armstrong, Managing Director of the Construction Employers Federation welcomed the funding and the new construction jobs it will create.  He said;

“This is great news. Not only will it help in the provision of much needed social housing but it will also provide a real boost to the local construction industry. It is too early to say with certainty how many jobs will be created.  However the unique multiplier effect of construction activity will provide significant benefits to the local economy.”

Clanmil Housing is continually seeking development opportunities that will help increase the social housing provision in areas of housing need throughout Northern Ireland and is always pleased to hear from landowners who have sites with development potential.

CHLOE’S NAME A WINNER FOR NEW CLANMIL HOUSING SCHEME

21 June 2013

Clanmil Housing Association’s new housing development at Brokerstown Road in Lisburn has been named Brokerstown Meadow thanks to a creative local school girl.


Chloe Turtle (right) from Ballymacash Primary School whose suggestion,
Brokerstown Meadow, was chosen as the name for Clanmil Housing’s new family
housing scheme at Brokerstown Road with runners up (l-r) Melissa Patterson,
Peter Crossey and Emily Flain.


Clanmil approached the nearby Ballymacash Primary School  in search of an imaginative name for the new development of 18 much needed family homes.  The winning name, Brokerstown Meadow, was suggested by Chloe Turtle from Primary 7.  It was one of four names shortlisted from over 50 inventive  suggestions by pupils at the school, and the one ultimately chosen as the new scheme name by Lisburn City Council.  The three runner-up names were suggested by Peter Crossey, also P7, and Emily Flain and Melissa Paterson, both P6.

Work on the construction of the Ј2.5 million housing development started in April this year and is scheduled for completion in Summer 2014.  The homes are being built to high energy efficiency and design specifications, including Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, which ensure added security for tenants and flexibility of adaptation if required at a later date.

Clare McCarty, Chief Executive of Clanmil, is delighted with the new name.  She said;

“We were delighted by the interest the children and teachers at Ballymacash Primary have shown in our development and very impressed by the standard and range of names suggested.  Niamh has come up with the perfect name for the scheme and we’re looking forward to welcoming tenants to their new homes at Brokerstown Meadow next Summer.”

Chloe and the three runners up were rewarded for their creativity with gift vouchers.

McCausland opens Ј7.4million social housing development in North Belfast

21 June 2013

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has opened a new Ј7.4million social housing scheme in North Belfast.

The new development in Sunningdale Gardens funded by the Northern Ireland Executive and Clanmil Housing Association, provides 46 new family homes and apartments.


Robbie and Reilly Sterling (age 3) help Nelson McCausland, Minister for Social Development, plant a tree to mark the opening of Clanmil’s new Ј7.4 million family housing scheme in North Belfast watched by Clanmil Chair, Joan Baird

Speaking during a visit to the new homes, Minister McCausland said: “Having cut the first sod on this site, it is wonderful to be back again to see the residents now enjoying their new homes. This area of North Belfast continues to have a high housing need and Clanmil is to be congratulated for providing these much needed 46 new properties. The mix of family apartments and houses, coupled with apartments for active older people, gives a real community feel to the neighbourhood and has brought new vitality back to this part of Belfast.

“I’m particularly pleased that those former residents, who wanted to, have been able to move back into the new homes. It is imperative to identify and take on board the aspirations of local people and make things happen for the betterment of that community.

The Minister continued: “We should never underestimate the importance of good housing in people’s lives. These new homes will make a huge difference to all who now live here. All involved in their provision should be rightly proud of what has been achieved.”

Joan Baird, Chair of Clanmil Housing, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new tenants to Sunningdale Gardens and wish them well as they settle into their new homes and new community. We are particularly pleased to welcome back home nine people who used to live in the maisonettes that formerly occupied this site and who have been able to move back into their community and these lovely new homes.”

Ms Baird added: “We are very grateful to the local community and their political representatives for their assistance in delivering this scheme and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that Sunningdale Gardens is a really good place to live.”

The new homes are built to Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and built to the usual Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards

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