The largest housing development currently under construction in Northern Ireland has been officially opened by Communities Minister, Gordon Lyons MLA.  The Black Ridge development in West Belfast will see Apex Housing Association (Apex) provide 653 new homes, including 549 social homes to rent and 104 affordable homes for sale.

Pictured at the official opening of Black Ridge in West Belfast L-R: Joe McGinnis, Managing Director of the Braidwater Group; Gordon Lyons MLA, Communities Minister; Nicole Lappin, Chair of NI Housing Executive; and Peter Caldwell, Chair of Apex Housing Association.

Constructed by the Braidwater Group, the keys to 53 of these new homes have been handed over in recent weeks to the first residents of Black Ridge, with the entire development expected to be completed by 2028.

The £102m scheme has been supported by £52.4million Housing Association Grant funding from the Department for Communities and £49.4million private finance investment by Apex.  The development, being built by BW Social & Affordable Homes, will also feature a community hub with MUGA (multi-use games area), two care homes, a neighbourhood retail centre, a hotel and a number of children’s playparks.

Pictured at the official opening of Black Ridge in West Belfast L-R: Sheena McCallion, Chief Executive of Apex Housing Association; Joe McGinnis, Managing Director of the Braidwater Group; Councillor Ryan Murphy, Lord Mayor of Belfast; Gordon Lyons MLA, Communities Minister; Nicole Lappin, Chair of NI Housing Executive; and Peter Caldwell, Chair of Apex Housing Association.

Speaking at the opening event, Communities Minister Gordon Lyons, commented:

‘’As Minister, I am pleased to be opening this transformational project.  Landmark developments such as Black Ridge are a significant step in addressing the housing need which exists in this community.  Everyone has a right to a decent standard of housing.  And yet, a home is much more than bricks and mortar.  It begins with a roof over someone’s head.  But it extends far beyond that, into a collaborative effort which supports individuals and families.  We recognise that houses can be designed and built, but communities are developed and nurtured. I commend Apex Housing Association, and indeed all those involved, and wish the residents every happiness in their new homes.’’

One of the first residents to move into her new home at Black Ridge was Nicola Marshall.  Nicola and her family waited two decades for a suitable home in the area and were delighted to be offered their new house in Black Ridge View:

“It’s made a big impact on us as a family.  After renting privately for 20 years, it’s great to know that this house is all ours.  As a mummy, it’s taken a weight off my shoulders knowing that my kids now have their family home.  It’s close to the shops, my daughter Fiadh’s school; and near our family, who all live in and around the Andersonstown area.  We’re really excited to be in the middle of a growing community which will see lots of families living together, with a sports hub, hotel and playparks all on our doorstep.”

Peter Caldwell, Chairperson of Apex Housing Association, said:

“We are delighted to mark the official opening of Black Ridge and to recognise the impact that these new homes will have on local people and families.  The scale of this development means it will continue to play a significant role in addressing the demand for social and affordable housing in West Belfast.  We look forward to seeing this new community grow and develop in the coming years.”

Housing Executive Chair, Nicole Lappin, said;

‘’Congratulations to Apex Housing and all the other partners involved in delivering these new properties at Black Ridge in West Belfast.  Social housing developments of this nature, funded by grant from the Department for Communities and the Housing Executive, are crucial to tackling current waiting lists across Northern Ireland.  Fifty families are already enjoying their new homes at this site and I very much look forward to witnessing further allocations to hundreds of households in the weeks and months ahead.’’

Patrick McGinnis, Chief Executive of the Braidwater Group, chats to Gordon Lyons MLA, Communities Minister, inside one of the new homes due for handover next week.

Joe McGinnis, Managing Director of the Braidwater Group, commented:

‘‘Having started onsite in 2021 and recently handed over the first of the 653 homes, the Braidwater Group is delighted to be involved in a significant milestone and the official launch of Glenmona, or Black Ridge as it will be known going forward.

‘It was our pleasure to welcome Minister for Communities, Gordon Lyons, to officially open Black Ridge and we thank all of our partners involved in ensuring the development matures and helps alleviate the significant housing demand for the area.’’

Construction began on the Black Ridge development in March 2021, with the first homes completed in late 2023.  ‘Black Ridge’ was chosen as the street name of the development with the help of pupils from St Teresa’s Primary School, which is located next to the development.

Social housing in the Black Ridge development will be allocated in phases over the coming years using the Common Selection Scheme Waiting List.  Anyone interested in social housing at Black Ridge, should contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to ensure their details and circumstances are up-to-date and that they are on the correct waiting list for the area.

For more information about the Black Ridge development, please contact Apex on 028 7130 4800 or visit