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Attwood and McGimpsey open new supported housing in Portadown


19 January 2011

Attwood and McGimpsey open new supported housing in Portadown

Minister for Social Development, Alex Attwood and Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Michael McGimpsey today officially opened a new £1.3 million supported housing scheme in Portadown.

Locke House will provide accommodation for individuals with severe and enduring mental illness and a range of mental health needs.

The scheme consists of seven self contained apartments and seven individual en suite bedrooms with shared facilities including common rooms, kitchens and a laundry room.

Locke House was developed by South Ulster Housing Association and will be managed by Praxis Care, who will provide support for residents according to their individual needs. The new building is designed to allow residents to experience everyday living, with space for leisure and recreational activities and allow residents to live as independently as possible.

Minister Alex Attwood said: ‘This development will make a real difference to the lives of tenants. Many have spent long periods in hospital with all the restrictions that implies. Now with the support of caring, qualified staff they will be able to enjoy more independent living in this new homely environment.’

‘The provision of a decent home for everyone is at the core of all my endeavours. That includes supported housing. I want to ensure that everybody has a home that is suited to their own specific needs. I have been most impressed by what I have seen here today and will continue through the social housing programme to make provision for more of the same.’

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said: ‘Mental health remains one of my top priorities. I want to make sure that, where possible, people who suffer from a mental illness are supported to live as independently as possible in the community.’

‘Successful reintegration of patients into our communities will ensure they receive a much higher quality of living – that is why this scheme is so important.’

The Minister went on to stress the importance of collaborative working, to make facilities like this possible, saying: ‘This special housing scheme is a tribute to all the partners involved, including the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the South Ulster Housing Association, Praxis and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.’


1.      This 14 unit scheme (plus one staff bedroom for sleepover) cost £1.3 million, including land, construction and associated on costs. The Department for Social Development funded £1.1 million through the Housing Executive, with the balance of £0.2 million funded by South Ulster through private finance. The Housing Executive’s Supporting People Programme contributes £161,000 per annum to the day to day running costs of the scheme.

2.      Locke House was named after South Ulster Housing Association Board Member, Alan Locke, who lived in the original building on the site. South Ulster Housing Association is one of 31 housing associations registered with the Department for Social Development.

3. Media enquiries to DSD Information Office on 028 9082 9454. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440.

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