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Social housing scheme ‘great news for Aghagallon’ but families still desperate in Lurgan

'These new builds will go some way to meet the current housing needs in this area'

Former SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly and Councillor Ciaran Toman

Work has begun on a social housing scheme in Aghagallon.

The five three-bedroom homes are situated just off the Aghalee Road, on lands at Parknasilla Way.

The commencement of the project has been welcomed by SDLP councillor Ciaran Toman who described it as “great news for Aghagallon”.

Councillor Toman worked alongside former MLA Dolores Kelly who helped to secure the site for social housing.

He said: “Tackling the chronic shortage of social housing has always been a priority for the SDLP and I’m delighted to share the news that contracts have been signed and work has commenced for five, three bedrooms homes in Aghagallon.

“This is great news for Aghagallon. Not only will it bring a derelict site back into use but much more so for the chronic waiting lists that persist in the Lurgan DEA.

“I know this was a priority for my colleague Dolores Kelly to see these homes delivered and I’m grateful to the developer, NIHE & Arbour Housing Association for their continued interest in meeting the housing need in Aghagallon. ”

He added:  “These new builds will go some way to meet the current housing needs in this area which now stands at 19 units, but challenges remain to meet that demand and I look forward to work with others to put forward proposals.

“The progression of this scheme delivers for people, it supports local jobs in the construction industry, it will help to ensure rural schools in the area are supported in the future and I am acutely aware of the increased good health outcomes that follow when families have good housing conditions and security of tenure. ”

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein representative in Lurgan, Mary O’Dowd, said she is dealing with people who are in desperate need of housing and “yet the Housing Executive have simply no home to offer them”.

“Families, couples and single people are left in a desperate situation as demand is outstripping supply.

“I know housing officers in the Housing Executive are doing their best but the reality is if there are no houses then how can those on the waiting list be offered a home.

“People are entitled to homes that are good quality, safe, secure, comfortable, and affordable.

“In the previous Housing minister Deirdre Hargey had committed to the greatest housing system shake up in this last 50 years with a plan to deliver over 100,000 homes over the next 15 years. However the absence of the Assembly and no Housing Minister what hope is there for change?

“Sinn Féin will continue to lobby for more social and affordable housing to be built as the need is obvious.”

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