Choice showcase transformation of Victoria Housing Estates Scheme

Choice Housing has unveiled the first of their newly refurbished former Victoria Housing Estates properties they acquired as part of a stock transfer last year. The ten refurbished properties in Harmin Avenue, Harmin Drive and Farmley Park, Glengormley were void at the time of the transfer and will now be used as decant housing to facilitate upgrades to occupied properties also part of the transfer.

Victoria Housing Estates

Upgrading works to the occupied properties are expected to commence in October this year, with a completion date of Spring 2023. Following completion of these upgrades, the properties in Harmin and Farmley Park will then be made available to let.

As part of the transfer agreement between Choice and VHE, the properties which moved to Choice ownership have been included in a £25m renovation and refurbishment programme. The Choice team were joined by partners including Department for Communities (DfC), contractor Fusion Heating and local councillors to unveil the new properties.

Choice Group Chief Executive, Michael McDonnell said, “Following the transfer agreement last year, we worked to agree a programme of refurbishments specifically for the void properties that would allow tenants to move into a safe and upgraded home whilst more intensive work was carried out on their properties.

“Our priority now is to complete the next phase of refurbishment which formed part of our agreement with tenants and for which we consulted extensively with them. It is great to be here to see all the hard work come together and I must pay tribute to my own team as well as, key partners who together made this phase 1 refurbishment programme a success”.

The £660K refurbishment of the properties in Glengormley included new roofs, kitchen and bathroom installations, all new electrical and heating installations, new UPVC DG windows and composite SBD external doors, upgrade of fiberglass insulation and external site works. This extensive upgrade ensured that these new Choice properties not only meet the Decent Homes Standard but align with the quality services currently provided to more than 11,000 Choice tenants across Northern Ireland.

Department for Communities (DfC) Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “Increasing our supply of social housing for individuals and families in need is a key priority for me and is why I am taking forward the biggest reform of social housing in over 50 years.  It is pleasing to see ten previously void properties brought up to a high standard of living and available for those who need them.”

The properties that transferred to Choice also included Riverdale (West Belfast), Worcester Avenue (Bangor), Cherryhill, Holywood Road and Clonaver (East Belfast).

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