23 Sep 2019

Choice has begun an ambitious £300k refurbishment project, which will see a complete transformation of Benmore Court in South Belfast. Funded solely by Choice, the project will mark a new chapter for the sheltered living scheme and its tenants, which has been at the heart of the local Finaghy community for more than 30 years.

The current scheme, built in 1986, comprises of 22 homes, a mix of 1 and 2-bedroom accommodation and wheelchair accessible properties. The renovation project started in July 2019 and is expected to complete by December this year.  When complete, tenants will see a complete overhaul of existing facilities undertaken by lead contractor, Peter O’ Hare alongside Sean McGoldrick, Building Surveyor and under the stewardship of Scheme Co-ordinator Maura Ross. 

The Choice team, led by Group Chief Executive Michael McDonnell along with partners, visited Benmore Court to review progress on the project, which has been developed in full consultation with tenants.

Michael McDonnell, Group Chief Executive of Choice Housing said:  

“One of the main priorities of the association is to develop great homes for those who need them and part of this is continuously ensuring current schemes meet the same grade as our new builds. Benmore Court has been part of the Finaghy community for more than 30 years; this investment aimed to ensure it is fit for purpose for the next 30 years. 

“Engagement with tenants was an important part of this project; it’s their homes we are developing and it’s only right that they have their voice heard on what they want to see as part of the refurbishment”.   

In June of this year, tenants were involved in a consultation event with Choice and their partners on the future of Benmore Court. Tenants identified a number of areas of improvement and chose kitchen and bathroom options as well as colour schemes for their communal areas.

Peter O’Hare added: 

“We have been working with Choice and tenants of Benmore Court to ensure we deliver a top quality upgrade of facilities that will ensure the sustainability of this housing scheme.  Engaging with those who live in these homes allowed us to identify key areas of improvement that were outside our initial assessment; this is a vital part of any social housing refurbishment project”. 

The full scope of work includes replacement of kitchens, bathrooms, windows, external doors and internal communal fire doors. Full re-decoration of the communal area, replacement of the communal front entrance door, external communal lighting upgrade to walkways and external cyclical maintenance works to areas including roofs, eaves, rainwater goods and fencing/boundary walls.