Northern Ireland

Choice Housing Association 'to build 2,500 homes'

Houses in construction Image copyright Choice
Image caption More than 700 construction jobs will be created to build the new social housing homes

Northern Ireland's largest housing association has announced plans to build more than 2,500 new social housing homes in the next five years.

Oaklee Trinity and Ulidia housing associations have merged to become Choice.

It said the investment of up to £340m would create more than 700 construction jobs and support another 500 jobs.

Its plans include improving existing homes and the potential transfer of housing stock held by other providers.

Choice acts as landlord to 10,000 homes, with property assets of more than £700m.

'Ambitious'

Its chairman, Timothy Quin, said: "This programme marks the start of an ambitious journey that will carry forward a focused plan to deliver more homes, better services and stronger communities.

"Over the next five years, thousands of people will benefit directly from the homes and employment opportunities that we plan to create."

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey said more than 10,000 new social and affordable homes had been built in Northern Ireland since 2011.

"The associations that now make up Choice delivered 20% of the social housing output," he said.

"I have no doubt that the competitive edge gained by the merger of the already strong performing associations of Oaklee, Trinity and Ulidia will pay further dividends for the people of Northern Ireland.

"The investment package announced today demonstrates confidence in the strength of the social housing sector and their ability to deliver a sustainable quality product."

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