Arbour Housing planning 150 new social homes

Pictured on the Arbour Housing site in Lurgan are (from left) developer Conor Lavery (managing director at Charles Lavery & Sons), Ben Collins (NI Federation of Housing Associations chief executive) and Kieran Matthews (Arbour Housing chief executive)

ARBOUR Housing, one of the north’s larger providers of social housing, says it is planning to develop another 150 new homes in the coming months, coinciding with it adapting a new name and brand identity.

It has current developments under way in Newcastle, Newry, Newtownabbey, Lurgan, and Lisburn, and future schemes in Omagh, Derry and Portadown will go some way to addressing the existing social housing shortage.

Arbour’s ambitious growth over the last three years prompted it to re-think its brand and name to reflect more accurately who it is rather than where it operates (since its inception in 1978 it operated under the name of South Ulster Housing Association).

Chief executive Kieran Matthews said: “We have an ambitious growth agenda for the Association and have appointed three new board members to help with strategic guidance throughout this period. Our new identity is a major part of helping us to fulfil those growth plans.

“When we started the process, we knew we wanted something that expressed our vision of being more than a landlord. We also put our tenants’ voice at heart of what we do.

“That fed into discussions, workshops and research and in the end we all agreed on Arbour. We liked the natural element of shelter and protection it suggests. It feels like a very good fit for us.”

While the signage in its headquarters in Portadown will change, there will be little change for tenants. There will be no impact on their rents or tenancy agreements, and Arbour says it is confident it will continue to provide exceptional service and support.

Grainia Long, chief executive of the NI Housing Executive, who spoke at the launch, said; “Social housing providers are a key partner for us in addressing housing need across Northern Ireland. Arbour has a strong track record of delivery and have ambitious plans – and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

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