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Housing association secures £120 million fund

A housing association in Northern Ireland has announced it has secured a £120 million loan to boost developments in the region.

Up to 1,600 new homes could be built as a result of the funds, all of which will be used as social housing, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Clanmil Housing Group, which is responsible for securing the money, revealed that £75 million will be borrowed from Danske Bank, while the rest will come from Barclays.

This will also enable the group to access £80 million worth of statutory funding, while £20 million of the loaned money will pay off existing debts.

The other £100 million, however, will all go directly into developing new social housing for as many as 5,000 people to benefit from.

Steve Amos, chairman of Clanmil, spoke about his delight that the company had managed to acquire such a loan in a tough lending market.

He said: "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.

"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."

He added that the local construction industry and Northern Ireland as a whole will benefit from the jobs this project will create - which is expected to be around the 600 figure.

Over the next four years, 400 positions are also expected to be secured within the supply chain due to this development.

The news will be welcome to the people of Northern Ireland as it emerged that approximately 41,300 applications were submitted for social housing.

According to Clanmil, around 50 per cent of these applicants were deemed to be in "housing stress", as of March last year.

The firm currently owns more than 3,500 properties across the region, primarily occupied by families, single and elderly individuals.

Posted by Paul Taylor