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Ritchie opens new homeless facility in Derry

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie today officially opened a new £1.7million hostel for homeless people in Derry.

Welcoming this important investment for the city, Margaret Ritchie said the previous hostel on the Bond’s Hill site had served its purpose well, but added that it had come to the end of its useful life.

The Minister said: "This new modern accommodation will provide better facilities and better support for all who live here. My Department takes a lead role in tackling homelessness and I am only too aware of the many risks of this damaging experience.

"Not having a home, for whatever reason, is a traumatic event in anyone’s life. That is why accommodation and support like this is so important."

Ulidia Housing Association, along with the Simon Community worked together on the project to provide new, state of the art accommodation and support services at the new hostel which was originally housed within adjoining terraced houses at Bond’s Hill.

Built behind the original listed facade, the new accommodation provides 15 single bedrooms and two staff bedrooms, with four shared kitchens and other communal facilities.

Notes to editors:

  1. Ulidia Housing Association is one of 32 housing associations registered with the Department for Social Development, thereby gaining access to Housing Association Grant. Ulidia manages some 900 properties throughout Northern Ireland.
  2. This scheme costs £1.7million, including land, construction costs and associated costs. The Department for Social Development funded £1.5million through the Housing Executive, with the balance of £0.2million contributed by Ulidia through private finance.
  3. Day to day management of the hostel is carried out by the Simon Community under the terms of a joint management agreement between the two organisations.
  4. Media enquiries to DSD Information Office on 028 9082 9497 or Ciara McGuigan on 07792 150 486. Out of office hours please contact Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.