THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: City corporation to take up challenge of building housing on bombed sites
Belfast Corporation intended to “take up to challenge” of Mr William Grant, the Northern Ireland Health Minister, to build houses and flats on bombed sites in the city, reported the News Letter on this day in 1949.
In the Northern Ireland Parliament the previous week Mr Grant had said that his department was willing to consider waiving the subsidy regulations in order to encourage the construction of houses “affording reasonable modern amenities”.
Alderman Henderson contended that very little progress had been made. He said that the Health Minister had “thrown the responsibility on the Council” to build on the bombed site, he added that the council should take up the challenge.
Replying to the debate on housing at the monthly meeting of the Belfast Corporation Councillor Hill stated that “only over my dead body will we reduce standards” in housing in the city.
He added that the Corporation had “prepared a plan and would test the latest statement of the minister”.
Moving the adoption of the minutes of the Housing Committee Councillor Hill detailed how under the Estates Committee eight sites, totalling 185 acres, had been acquired, meanwhile under the Housing Committee some 12 sites had been acquired which totalled 173 acres.
The remaining land in the city comprised six sites of 152 acres.
The committee was told that 32 acres had already been prepared for housing but that contracts had yet been placed.
Meanwhile, a further 61 acres had been left unprepared and would be “taken in hand at the earliest possible moment”.