Posted on Thursday 18 June 2015 by Ulster Business

Housing association to build 2500 new homes

Ian Elliott, CEO of Choice, at the announcement of the housing association's plans to build 2,500 new homes

One of Northern Ireland’s biggest landlords is planning to build over 2,500 social and affordable homes backed by both government and private cash.

Choice, formed following the merger of OakleeTrinity and Ulidia Housing Associations, is pumping £340m into the project which also involves the improvement of existing homes.

It said the proposed build will create over 700 construction jobs over the five year building programme and support up to 500 in the associated supply chain.

Timothy Quin, Chairman of Choice, made the announcement at Titanic Belfast.

“Over the next five years, thousands of people will benefit directly from the homes and employment opportunities that we plan to create,” he said. “As a social enterprise we want to continue to evolve, to maximise on regeneration opportunities while performing better for the communities we serve with more than just housing.

“That means directing our resources and commercial ambition towards the acute immediate challenges and to setting new standards of excellence within the sector. We believe that people should get more from housing associations and we’re ready and best-equipped to lead the way.”

Currently Choice owns 10,000 homes worth more than £700 million and has an annual turnover of over £40million.

Danske Bank is one of the private sector backers of the programme.

“We are proud to support Choice as it seeks to meet the need for new homes and embark on a major building programme that will provide a much needed boost to the local construction sector,” Chris Martin, Head of Social Housing at Danske Bank, said. “Danske Bank has been very active in the social housing sector over the past year and we expect this to continue as demand for social housing rises.”

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