28 Sep 2023

Choice is one of the largest housing associations in Northern Ireland with more than 1,100 units on sites across Northern Ireland, delivering affordable, quality and energy efficient housing. Last year, the association invested £16m in maintaining the quality of its existing homes across Northern Ireland.

Choice is committed to investing in local communities and over the period of 2022/23 worked with 11 different organisations on a range of community led organisations at an investment of £100,000 supporting 270 individuals in accessing education and skills and/or improving their physical and mental health.

Since 2019, partnerships with Queens University and Ulster University have supported students, with a particular focus on those facing barriers to further education.

In 2022 a £12K partnership with Young Enterprise , Northern Ireland’s leading business education and enterprise charity, supported four groups of young people from across Northern Ireland to participate in the Access Enterprise Programme.

In 2021, Choice launched the Brian McKenna Student Placement Programme offering seven university students a placement year across a range of departments, with an opportunity to win payment of their final year's tuition fee through a business innovation project.  

Choice continues to support Street Soccer NI, a charity working with homeless and disadvantaged groups across Northern Ireland. More recently, Choice became the first housing association in NI to partner with the well-established Rio Ferdinand Foundation supporting young people through a range of personal and professional development programmes. 

With the continued rise in cost-of-living. Choice delivered a range of vital support services with a focus on financial management and sustainable tenancies.

The association continues to invest in its staff, focusing on attracting and retaining talent across the organisation and offering opportunities for training and other learning and development opportunities. A total of £185,000 was invested in staff development.

Choice takes a similar approach to offering opportunities for tenants, providing the chance for tenants to learn and develop new skills that not only contribute to their community but allow them to enhance their personal and professional development.

“We continue to develop new ways of engaging across our networks, with the aim of getting more tenants involved. Community Champions have become a vital part of this engagement process, with tenants championing their local community and advocating for projects that local people and residents have identified as important.”

Jonathan Blakely, Community Development Manager for Choice