In a different way

In a different way

September 4, 2016 Blog 0 Comments
I was inspired and emboldened in equal measure with the discussions I had with housing association champions on the sidelines of Thursday’s NI Housing Association Finance Conference.
Inspired by their determination to house the homeless — and mindful of Pope Francis’ exhortation that rather than lecture the homeless about morality, it would serve us all better to remember you can’t have a family without a home — and emboldened by their can-do attitude.
That was exemplified for me by the bold decision of two housing associations to borrow £280m from the European Investment Bank to fund their housebuilding plans — a move facilitated by Ian Lees of PwC who was also helpful with the Lanyon Tunnels project in the Markets which got the greenlight this week.
I saw lots of allies in the room; change-makers who are determined to get things done…now.
I particularly liked that the response of one finance executive who said he overcame the wearying obstacles of can’t-do bureaucracy in order to obtain a key site by doing things “in a different way”. My four favourite words when it comes to delivery.
Doing things in a different way was certainly the theme of my meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday with representatives of the European Investment Bank who have pledged to make a £200m loan facility available to the 11 Councils in the North, at unbeatable terms. I hope the Councils will seize this opportunity with both hands and bring forward transformative projects for funding.
There is hope for us all yet: I found the magnificent Stormont potting shed and the government art collection this week. Will be returning to both!
There is hope for us all yet: I found the magnificent Stormont potting shed and the government art collection this week. Will be returning to both!
For in my travels since my appointment as Finance Minister to Omagh, Enniskillen, Derry, Lurgan, Newry, Banbridge and Ballymena and other places besides, I have found communities hungry for radical change. And you can’t have change without investment. Lots of it.
But talking of doing things in a different way, you might want to peruse my Luxembroug journey — complete with soundtrack — on Storify.
And if that’s not enough difference for one week, you can also watch the first-ever government meeting in the North broadcast live via Periscope on my weekly departmental round-up ezine.
Coinnigí an misneach. Cuid mhór le déanamh — agus dhéanfar é, ar bhealach duifriúil más gá!



About the Author

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a businessman.