Residents urged to attend social housing meeting

A public meeting is planned to brief Hilden residents on 'surprise' proposals for a social housing development in the area.

The meeting in Glenmore Activity Centre next Thursday, will be hosted by the South Ulster Housing Association to discuss its purchase of houses in the Hilden area.

The association confirmed it was in discussions with the owner to purchase seven homes for social housing in Bridge Street, Hilden.

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“There is a need for additional social housing in the area,” a spokesperson said, “and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has indicated support for the potential acquisition.

“As part of the process and in line with our commitment to involving the local community, we have arranged a public consultation to be held in Glenmore Activity Centre, 43 Glenmore Park, at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 25.

“This evening is an opportunity for the local community to ask any questions they may have about the development.”

Lagan Valley MLA Jonathan Craig is among those encouraging residents to attend the meeting.

“I was surprised at this development,” he said, “ as I stated to the housing association that these houses have been built by a private developer for sale on the private housing market, but was informed that the developer had approached the housing association to purchase them from him.

“Having made sure that the local community association was aware of this development, both myself and the Hilden Community Association requested that the housing association would complete some form of local public consultation so the people that live closest to the development could have their say in this surprise move.

“Both the community association and myself would appeal to residents in the Hilden/Glenmore area to attend this public meeting in the centre, not only to meet the housing association staff, but also it gives them an opportunity to speak to the association to voice their opinions on how this development should move forward.

“Whilst we recognise that this is a small development in social housing terms we appreciate that the demand for social housing in the Hilden area is high, with over 300 people waiting to get a social house in this area.”