Helm agree £25 million funding for social housing

21 May 2015

Helm agree £25 million funding for social housing with support of First Trust Bank
Helm Housing Association has today signed an agreement with First Trust Bank which will see an additional £25 million of private sector finance for social housing across Northern Ireland. The agreement, which supports Helmâ??s financial requirements for the next three years, will fund the construction of new social housing across Northern Ireland, the maintenance and improvement of existing homes and the potential refurbishment of any stock transfers. 
â??Helm Housing is committed to building sustainable neighbourhoods right across Northern Ireland. Securing private sector finance of this magnitude and the support provided by the NI Executive through the Social Housing Development Programme  will enable Helm Housing to build hundreds of much needed, high quality affordable homes in the coming years,â? said Michael McDonnell, CEO, Helm Housing.
This announcement follows the recent appointment of Connolly & Fee as contractor at Helm Housingâ??s £2.8m Sloane Street project in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone which will provide accommodation for 77 people. Development of the organisationâ??s £3.7million scheme at Dundonald is ongoing, with accommodation for around 96 people set to be completed in October 2015. Helm Housing expect to complete a total of 150 housing units in total in 2015/2016. 
Richard Ennis, Director of Business and Corporate Banking, First Trust Bank said; â??We understand the great need for more social housing across Northern Ireland and are delighted to support Helm as they bring forward their development proposals for the next three years. We also are acutely aware of the importance of this type of investment for the local construction sector and believe this announcement will also represent a significant boost for local contractors.  The agreement is further evidence of First Trust Bankâ??s ambition to be the lead challenger bank in Northern Ireland and of our wider commitment to support the growth of the local economy.â?
This latest funding announcement followed a competitive tender process among banks which saw First Trust Bank chosen as preferred finance provider. 
â??The competitive process associated with this funding ensures that we deliver maximum value for our organisation and our stakeholders. That means that our social enterprise resources are effec-tively and efficiently used to meet housing need, â? added Michael.
Above: Brian Gillan, Director of Business & Corporate, First Trust Bank, and Liz Cuddy, Chair Helm Housing Association

Main photo: Liz Cuddy, Chair Helm Housing, Brian Gillian, First Trust's Director of Business & Corporate, Patrick Morgan, Director of Finance, Helm, Iain Kelly, First Trust Business Banking, Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive Helm, and Richard Ennis, Head of Business Banking, First Trust. 

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