£126 million invested in building Skeoge communities
More than 1,000 new social homes have been developed in the Skeoge area of Derry~Londonderry over the last eight years, with Apex Housing Association and the Department for Communities investing £126 million to build new communities and help reduce housing waiting lists.
Clon Dara, the latest Apex neighbourhood in the area, was completed recently and provides 174 new homes for individuals, couples and families. Clon Dara offers a range of properties including 2, 3 and 4 bed houses, 2 bed bungalows; and 1 and 2 bed apartments; with a number of the homes designed to facilitate people with disabilities.
The £24.9million development was supported by £14million Housing Association Grant funding from the Department for Communities and £10.9million of private finance provided by Apex.
One local family recently given the keys to their new home in Clon Dara was Gemma Burke and her two sons, Coby (4) and Theo (7). Gemma explains that Coby’s epilepsy had made it difficult for the boys to share a bedroom and says they are delighted to have been allocated a brand new 3-bedroom house.
Our new home is beautiful, and it’s made such a difference to us as a family. Coby’s seizures during the night would often frighten his older brother, so having their own separate rooms now is amazing. It’s great to have so much extra space and we’re so handy to the school bus stop and the local play park. Having Skeoge Community Hub nearby is brilliant too; I’m definitely going to get the boys signed up for some activities and drop in myself to meet people from the area.
Sheena McCallion, Chief Executive of Apex Housing Association, commented:
It’s wonderful to see the positive impact these new homes in Skeoge continue to have for individuals and families. Working with the Department for Communities, we have provided more than 1,000 much needed homes in the city; investing more than £50 million of private finance to help build these sustainable communities.
We know, however, that people need more than housing. That’s why we continue to provide opportunities for neighbours to connect; and support local groups to improve the health and wellbeing of the community. Skeoge Community Hub, located in Clon Dara, is a fantastic Apex facility currently being managed by Greater Shantallow Area Partnership. With a community café on site and a range of activities on offer for all ages, it’s a real asset for the local area.
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said:
The delivery of more homes that meet the needs of our society, both now and in the future, is the key driver of the Housing Supply Strategy and the work of the Department. The 174 homes which have been constructed in Clon Dara will add to the many currently under construction to help meet need and reduce housing stress.
Construction began in Clon Dara in 2019, with all homes built to Lifetime Home and Secured by Design standards. Situated on the Skeoge Link, Clon Dara has its own play park and a large shop is located very close to the development. Skeoge Community Hub in Clon Dara provides a wide range of activities for all age groups. Visit facebook.com/skeogehub for more information.