More than 30 Choice residents are celebrating the completion of a major £320,000 overhaul at Shiels Court sheltered housing scheme in Ballymoney.
The six-month renovation project, designed to improve quality of living at the 20-year-old scheme, includes replacement kitchens in each apartment, upgrades to the lift and flooring and redecoration work. The scheme also benefited from the installation of a new warden call system that will enable staff to respond quickly should residents need assistance.
Prior to the works commencing, tenants met with the contractor – AMS Ltd – to choose their new kitchens and agree the new interior decoration in communal areas, which also received flooring and lighting improvements.
Hazel Bell, Chair of Choice Housing said:
“There is a close-knit community here at Shiels Court and tenants do a lot of things together. We share the great pride that they have for this scheme and worked hard to ensure each home was upgraded to the highest possible standard with a minimum of disruption. We’re pleased that residents took an active role in their home improvements.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Shiels Court and comes as the scheme marks its 20th anniversary. We believe in providing good quality housing and actively involving tenants in our plans. The renovation work at Shiels Court is a fine example of what we are trying to achieve.”
Resident and Member of the Tenant Forum Billie Philips said:
“During the works, the staff went out of their way to make sure we were well looked after and that we were aware of what would be happening. The co-ordinator often made breakfasts and lunches in the common room and having everyone together brought a greater sense of community. We got to speak to other people that we may not otherwise have seen or talked to.
“It was particularly pleasing to have a choice in how the apartments and the common areas were changed. It feels like a place of our own and the standard of the work has been great. There is a positive feeling about the place and that’s what everybody wants in their home.”
Opened in 1998, Shiels Court is designed to support older people and comprises 36 homes with a mix of 24 single-bedroom apartments 10 double bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments. Each apartment has gas central heating, double glazing and a fully fitted kitchen. Special care was taken during the work to minimise noise and disruption at the popular scheme.