Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has today visited Rathlin Island to hear the views of new social housing tenants at Gort Beag.
Welcoming the residents’ 100% satisfaction levels with their new homes, the Minister said he was pleased that the new scheme was encouraging residents to continue living on the island.
Minister Storey said: “I am really impressed with the superb housing delivered by Apex Housing Association here on Rathlin, which has contributed significantly to the regeneration of the Island.
“The investment from my Department and Apex Housing Association has helped to develop a thriving community, who I am delighted to hear are very pleased with their new homes. They have given the scheme a big vote of confidence in the recent Tenant Satisfaction Survey and I can certainly see why.
“The properties have been completed to a very high standard and I understand they offer excellent fuel efficiency with the majority of tenants experiencing a reduction in heating costs.”
Gort Beag, the first new social housing scheme to be built on Rathlin Island in almost two decades, was officially opened in October 2013.
The £2million development of ten social housing units by Apex Housing Association was provided with part funding from the Northern Ireland Executive, through the Department for Social Development.
A recent tenant’s satisfaction survey carried out by Apex, following one year of occupancy, showed that 100% of tenants liked their new homes, were satisfied with their contact with Apex Housing Association and enjoyed living on Rathlin Island.
Commending the Rathlin District Community Association, the Minister continued: “I know work is ongoing by the Rathlin District Community Association, Apex Housing Association and tenants to develop a piece of land beside Gort Beag, with a view to providing a landscaped area. This joint vision illustrates the community spirit that exists and the commitment of all to contribute to safeguarding the future of this unique and special place.”
Michael Cecil, Chairperson of the Rathlin District Community Association said: “The housing has proved to be a great success and popular with the residents as well as many others who see Gort Beag as a very attractive site and vital part in the developing community.”