This £20million investment will be one of the biggest new social and affordable housing developments in Northern Ireland in recent years. It will also provide the best opportunity in a generation to make real progress in meeting housing need across North Belfast.
Alex Attwood said: “This will be a tremendous housing boost for the people of North Belfast. My predecessor has already announced a £38million investment to transform the quality of homes in north Belfast. I am now adding quantity to that quality with 200 new social and affordable homes at the former military base at Girdwood. Windows and washing lines replacing watchtowers and sangers offers a much brighter future for everyone in the area.
“We appointed Apex Procurement Group some months ago to start the ball rolling. They have produced high quality designs with a proposed layout for the new homes. The time is now right to share those plans and consult with the local community.”
The first announcement of the 200 houses was made by Margaret Ritchie during her bid to become leader of the SDLP and the announcement of the same 200 houses by Alex Attwood was made while he was preparing to contest the 2011 Assembly election. Moreover he was photographed on the site with his party colleague Alban Maginness who was also preparing for the Assembly election. Once again the SDLP used Girdwood for electoral purposes. Margaret Ritchie used it in the context of a leadership election and Alex Attwood used it in the context of the Assembly election.
However they were selling the electorate a meaningless vision and they knew very well that they could not deliver it.