Choice Housing has officially launched the £3.6 million upgrade of 126 Strand Road - its newest housing scheme in Derry.
The redevelopment of the scheme, formerly known as Rock Mills, includes the remodelling of the existing 86 apartments to 94 new modern self-contained units - the three largest of which will each accommodate families of four.
The renovation, which started in November 2016, is one of the largest housing renovation and refurbishment projects undertaken in the city.
It included an overhaul of all electrics and plumbing within the building and the fitting of new kitchens and bathrooms throughout, as well as a number of other upgrades.
In April 2017, the first wave of new tenants moved in, with remaining tenants taking up residency in their new homes in August 2018 ahead of its official opening this week.
Michael McDonnell, Group Chief Executive of Choice Housing, said: “We believe in providing good quality housing to those who need it and actively involving tenants in our plans. The renovation work at 126 Strand Road is a fine example of what we are trying to achieve. It was through consultation with our tenants that the decision was made to rename the scheme, helping to express the new character of the development.
“This project includes a significant reconfiguration of the building enabling a wider range of tenancies to be accommodated and a series of major improvements throughout the scheme. The completion of this scheme is great news for its tenants and for the city as a whole, particularly given the need for quality, accessible social housing in the Derry~Londonderry area. We have been pleased to see the support for the redevelopment of this scheme in the local area also.”
Paul Price, from the Department for Communities, said the refurbishment of the development was essential to ensuring its long term future as a social housing provision for the Derry area.
The scheme, he said, has made a significant contribution to NI’s Social Housing Development programme, with £570k of the project’s capital funding comprising DfC Housing Association Grant”
AMSON Consortium, a joint venture between local construction firm AMS Ltd and Omagh-based O’Neill Electrics Ltd., undertook the refurbishment. Gerry Donaghy, from AMSON, said: “This project is very important for the city and it was vital that the refurbishment of the scheme was seamless while ensuring a high level of delivery.”