‘New’ housing association plans £300m investment

Radius Housing Association chair Diana Fitzsimons with CEO John McLean and former Helm Housing chair Liz Cuddy

Radius Housing Association chair Diana Fitzsimons with CEO John McLean and former Helm Housing chair Liz Cuddy

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Two of Northern Ireland’s largest housing asociations have revealed plans to spend £300 million on new homes and refurbishment programmes as a result of their merger.

Fold and Helm will now operate as Radius Housing Association, providing services for around 33,000 households and employing more than 1,000 staff.

The £300m investment programme comes as part of an overall, five-year strategy to increase assets to £1.25 billion and turnover to £110m.

Radius also becomes the largest social enterprise in Northern Ireland, with a significant housing presence in all 11 council areas, serviced by a regional office network spanning Belfast, Holywood, Ballymena, Newry and Derry-Londonderry.

“Helm and Fold are progressing into an exciting new era and into uncharted waters,” said Radius chair Diana Fitzsimons.

“This union will increase our capacity in communities to deliver new and innovative services targeted at providing financial advice, creating employment and improving well-being.

“Radius has a vision for the future which will see us continuing to enable people of all ages to live in the community through a range of traditional and technological housing solutions. Demand for our services is growing and we are confident that our merger will place us in a strong position.”

Both Helm Housing and Fold Housing Association have between them 80 years of success and experience in the social housing sector. Their client base includes families and singles, older people and people with dementia and other complex needs. Radius also supports 23,000 households through the award-winning Telecare and Telehealth service.

Liz Cuddy, former chair of Helm Housing Association, said: “Radius will be operating with the motto that ‘everyone has a place’ and with our greater capabilities we will be able to deliver long term improvements for communities across Northern Ireland.”