Lower Oldpark Community Association (LOCA) was established in 1975 to represent and work on behalf of the people of Lower Oldpark in the Greater Shankill area of Belfast.
It is registered as a charity with the Northern Ireland Charity Commission. LOCA has the legal status of a company limited by guarantee.
The Association has a management Board consisting of 9 members, six of whom live within the Lower Oldpark neighbourhood.
LOCA employs a team of 9 full-time and PT staff who deliver a range of services within the community. These services include:
In 2010, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) began funding a FT (37.5 hours pw) Housing Project Worker (HPW) post for the Lower Oldpark neighbourhood. The worker is employed by Lower Oldpark Community Association (LOCA).
The remit of the appointed worker has been to deliver a housing advice service, to address local environment problems and to encourage and support physical, and in particular housing, regeneration.
The post of HPW was filled in 2010 by Gary Hughes who was replaced by David Blake in early 2012. Gary returned to the role in May 2017 and remains in it.
The HPW reports directly to the LOCA Centre Manager who, in turn, reports to the Association Board.
LOCA accounts for the work of the HPW to the funder by way of the submission of quarterly progress reports.
It accounts to the community for the work of the HPW by way of the inclusion of a HPW Report in the Association's annual reports that are made available during LOCA's AGM.
The main areas of work of the HPW's during the period April 2020 to March 2021 are set out below:
The Lower Oldpark neighbourhood is made up of three housing areas.
The largest is bounded by Cliftonpark Avenue, Oldpark Road, the Oldpark Peace Wall and the Cliftonpark Avenue Peace Wall. This is the area where the vast majority of Lower Oldpark's housing and local environmental problems occur.
The other two housing areas are on the other side of the Oldpark Road. The Hillview/ Rosewood/ Fairfax area is adjacent to Hillview Enterprise Park and was developed by the NIHE during the same period as the main housing area.
The Albertville/ Century/ Yarrow/ Rosewood housing area was developed by a housing association (now Radius Housing) during the early part of the 2000's.
In 2021, Lower Oldpark neighbourhood consisted of 600 residential properties. The tenure breakdown of these properties is set out below:
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