Simon Community to create 50 new homes across NI with Portadown assets manager to be appointed

The Simon Community, which has two hostels in Portadown, launched a programme to create 50 new homes for the homeless as part of its 50th birthday celebrations.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 12:05 pm

Currently the Simon Community have no private rental homes in the Portadown area but there is hope that will change.

The ‘Creating Homes’ programme aims to build 50 homes across NI for those who are homeless.

Simon Community has temporary accommodation at two sites in Portadown in Edward St and Avon House at Thomas St, where tenants can receive support with housing points, health, wellbeing, and living skills.

Jim Dennison Simon Community Chief Executive, Upper Bann SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly, Lurgan Councillor with Armagh,Banbridge and Craigavon Council Cllr Ciaran Toman and Director of Homelessness Services for Simon Community Kirsten Hewitt.

There’s also a floating support service that covers the local area, helping people secure and maintain their tenancy. Floating Support Officers provide practical support and advice to vulnerable people within their own homes and the community.

Currently, the charity has no private rental homes in the Portadown region however an Assets Manager will join Simon Community in November to begin identifying need and affordable housing options for clients in the area.

The charity’s Chief Executive, Jim Dennison, met with MLAs at Parliament Buildings to outline plans, which includes recruiting an Assets Development Manager who will oversee the acquisition and management of rental properties in areas of highest need.

Mr Dennison said: “We are in a homelessness crisis. The NIHE’s own statistics show that homelessness services are currently not meeting demand, and that demand is predicted to grow in the coming years. This initiative is a response to that crisis.”

Jim Dennison Simon Community Chief Executive, Upper Bann DUP MLA Diane Dodds and Director of Homelessness Services for Simon Community Kirsten Hewitt.

Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd said: “I commend the Simon Community for the work they have done and continue to do in tackling homelessness. The charity’s latest scheme to become landlords for those in housing need will undoubtedly bring a roof over the heads of those in need in conjunction with a caring supportive landlord.”

Simon Community is also calling on local businesses to support its Creating Homes programme by providing funding for paint and building supplies to create a valued home for people within their communities. To find out how businesses can support visit simmoncommunity.org contact Simon Community on 028 9023 2882.

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Jim Dennison Simon Community Chief Executive, Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd and Director of Homelessness Services for Simon Community Kirsten Hewitt.

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