PROGRESS on developing two sites in North Belfast for social and affordable homes has been welcomed by a local councillor.
The sites in Library Street and Kent Street close to Carrick Hill have been put forward by Belfast City Council for expressions of interest from housing associations.
Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee said: “These sites which are being put forward for social and affordable homes clearly need regenerated.
“This is a significant development in advancing city centre living with all the related benefits that brings to the social fabric and economic future of Belfast. With the wider regeneration of the city which will include homes, this latest initiative will come as a step forward in tackling the housing crisis.
This is a significant development in advancing city centre living with all the related benefits that brings to the social fabric and economic future of Belfast. With the wider regeneration of the city which will include homes, this latest initiative will come as a step forward in tackling the housing crisis.
“Any homes in the city centre will of course be allocated on the basis of need which the Housing Executive have once again confirmed to us recently.
“For the community of Carrick Hill the development of this specific area for new homes will come as a boost for those on the housing waiting list in need.
“Connecting communities with the city centre will also help regenerate areas like Carrick Hill and assist social inclusion.”
A spokesperson for Belfast City Council said: "Belfast City Council, together with the Department for Communities, is currently inviting Expressions of Interest from Housing Associations interested in developing lands owned by the Council and DfC in the Inner North West area of Belfast City Centre.
"This Expressions of Interest for the lands, located at Little Donegall St, Library St and Kent St, is part of a Development Brief process for the delivery of a residential led mixed-use development.
“A thriving residential population in Belfast city centre is a key priority for both Council and the Department for Communities and they have been jointly progressing an ambitious programme to help accelerate this city centre living objective by way of utilising public sector land assets.
“The Belfast City Centre Regeneration & Investment Strategy (launched in 2015) sets out key regeneration policies and projects within the context of the Belfast Agenda. This includes an increased city centre residential population.
"As part of this, the Council has undertaken a strategic site assessment exercise of their city centre car parks and other assets, in conjunction with adjoining publicly owned land, and is working collaboratively with DfC and other partners to bring forward appropriate and comprehensive regeneration. A key objective is to deliver on increased city centre living, enhancing connectivity between the centre and the surrounding communities and provide connected and welcoming spaces.
“The vision for this cluster of sites is to bring forward a major residential led mixed-use scheme with a focus on place-making development providing a mix of residential types across the full range of residential tenures (social/affordable/private) together with commercial elements.”