|Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie MLA, Sylvia Doran Chairperson of 0aklee Housing Association, Ian Elliott Group Chief Executive of 0aklee Housing Association, Maria Baker Chairperson of the Pond Park Community Group and Yvonne Edwards Treasurer of the Pond Park Community Group. US1210-||Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie, Sylvia Doran Chairperson of 0aklee Housing Association, Sian Fletcher, Emma Louise Bailey along with CoIm Bailey. US1210-|
SOCIAL Development Minister Margaret Ritchie has welcomed the establishment of a new Shared Future scheme in Lisburn in homes that used to house army families.
Ms Ritchie visited the 112 home scheme at Pond Park which has been transformed from former military housing into a new Shared Future neighbourhood which is home to families of different religious and cultural backgrounds.
"When I launched the New Housing Agenda I made it my priority to do everything in my power to deliver housing for those in greatest need. I also laid out my vision for providing Shared Future housing for the many people who want it," she said.
"The Pond Park Shared Future housing goes beyond meeting housing need. It creates a sustainable community that is welcoming to all and reflects the future of housing in Northern Ireland. The growing desire of people within Northern Ireland to live in mixed communities is evident here in Pond Park where residents from every walk of life have declared their commitment to live together and support each other by signing the Shared Future voluntary charter."During the visit Ms Ritchie met the recently formed Pond Park Community Group and presented a £I,000 donation to chairperson, Maria Baker, to help fund community initiatives such as fun days, day trips, coffee mornings, and quiz nights and to help establish a 'mother and toddler' group in the area.
Ms Ritchie also presented a prize to local children Colm and Emma-Louise Bailey who designed the winning logo for the new community group.
Pond Park was refurbished by Oaklee Housing Association in 2009 and has now been fully allocated.
Ian Elliot, Oaklee Homes Group Chief Executive, added: "We are delighted today to launch the Pond Park Community Group, which will play a vital role in creating a more integrated and sustainable community for Pond Park residents. The community group will work in partnership with Oaklee to develop community initiatives and to become part of the fabric of the community itself.
"If Oaklee are to continue to be the leading provider of quality customer focused housing and support services in Ireland, then community group involvement such as this is invaluable."