Choice Housing’s commitment to innovation and collaboration in the social housing sector has been recognised by the CIH Housing Awards which took place, virtually, last month. The coveted awards celebrate the creativity, passion and innovation of housing organisations and individuals across the sector in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Shortlisted for seven awards, Choice won three, demonstrating their championing of equality and diversity, support for the health service during heightened service demands due to the pandemic and recognising the best in young talent within the sector.
Michael McDonnell, Choice Group Chief Executive said,
“These awards are a testament to the work of colleagues across many areas within the organisation and it is important for them to be recognised. The last twelve months have been very challenging for everyone in society and within the social housing setting we have had to re-evaluate a lot of our support mechanisms to adapt to the new normal.
“The ‘Step Down Care’ Project at the Bank in East Belfast which won ‘best housing story’ demonstrates exactly that. The Belfast Trust needed urgent patient accommodation to free up space for their Covid-19 facility at Belfast City Hospital. Through our subsidiary Maple and May we have provided appropriate accommodation for acute mental health inpatients in one of our new developments on Belfast’s Woodstock Road – The Bank”
“Initially conceived as a short term “Covid” arrangement, such has been the success of the project, the Trust has now decided to make it a longer-term part of its step-down care provision”.
Choice Housing’s other award wins came in the Inspirational Young Housing Professional category (Catriona McCann) and Excellence in Championing Equality and Diversity for their Diversity Programme.
Michael McDonnell added,
“I would like to congratulate our colleague Catriona McCann for being recognised as an inspirational young housing professional. Catriona has worked with tenants to deliver real change in their lives whilst engaging with the local community and local partners on a range of important issues. Catriona displays the type of commitment and drive that see many of our housing teams recognised for their work”.
Choice Housing’s Equality and Diversity Programme, which was also recognised at the awards included a wide range of schemes and initiatives which promoted integration, raising awareness of key issues and building futures through scholarships and accreditation.
The housing association was shortlisted in a further four categories:
The awards took place virtually on 26th February offering the opportunity for virtual networking and several free tickets were offered so colleagues, tenants, and customers, who’ve never had the chance to experience the awards could attend.
All shortlisted entries were included in the Good Practice Compendium 2021, featuring the very best achievements of housing professionals across the island. This year’s Compendium, which is a core learning document within the industry was sponsored by Choice Housing.