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New Secretary of State Visits Fold Housing Association on NI induction tour

22 Aug 2016

Fold Housing Association welcomed the newly appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP, to its offices in Holywood yesterday. The Secretary of State was visiting Fold as part of his two-week induction tour of Northern Ireland where he is visiting businesses and organisations across a range of sectors.

John McLean, Fold’s Chief Executive said, "We were delighted to welcome the new Secretary of State to Fold to hear the housing, care and support we are providing throughout Northern Ireland. He was interested to hear that Fold is investing close to £50m each year in the local construction and servicing industries. Fold is developing affordable and private housing schemes complete with community facilities and employment space. We are also offering Telecare and Telehealth support for over 23,000 homes, North and South of the border”.

He added, “The Secretary of State met staff and took a tour of the TeleCare monitoring centre which handles more than 1,000 calls a day. He was able to hear first-hand from the team how the service is helping people remain living independently at home with the support of TeleCare and for patients to manage long term chronic health conditions with the support of our Triage nursing team through TeleHealth. Since the service launched in 2001, over 4,000 patients to date have been referred for the service from all five health and social care trusts.”

As part of his tour, The Secretary of State has been keen to hear views from leading businesses on Brexit. John McLean highlighted the impact of the referendum result on the housing and third sectors. Fold and other local associations have been able to maximise the development of new social homes by accessing EIB finance at preferential rates. Community projects and third sector partners have also relied heavily on special EU funding. An appeal was made to maintain these funding streams for as long as possible whilst replacing them with alternative GB funding programmes over the medium term.

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