The judges were impressed by the amount of choice affordable housing providers are offering residents, but ultimately gave Higgins Construction top ranking in this category, sponsored by Bristan Group
Higgins Construction

"Affordable housing is no longer simply about residents accepting what they are given," wrote Higgins Construction in its award entry, and the Angell Town scheme in Brixton, in the London borough of Lambeth, demonstrates just how much choice tenants can be given, and how good the end result can look. Higgins worked with resident representatives and architect Burrell Foley Fischer on this 70-home new-build regeneration project, for which individual residents had a choice of house type, floor plan and internal fittings. Residents were also given a choice of garden layout. This is over and above a standard home specification, which includes highly desirable and stylish items such as zinc roofing, Scandinavian double glazing, and timber floors.

Lovell Partnerships

A virtual reality toolkit that shows residents images of how their homes will look with different decorations and kitchen, bathroom and flooring options is the latest initiative from Lovell Partnerships. The company developed the toolkit to explain the process of regeneration to residents whose homes are being replaced, as it can also show how demolition and construction of a site will be phased, how properties will be constructed and give fly-throughs of estates and properties. The system is intended to encourage residents to get involved with the redevelopment of their homes, as well as to inform them about their potential new interiors. Lovell is now promoting the toolkit concept with tenant organisation TPAS.

Kingfisher Housing Association

Kingfisher decks out show homes or holds mobile exhibitions to demonstrate the options and choices available to tenants under its modernisation programme. On larger projects it seeks volunteers to joint tenant groups managed by Kingfisher's tenant participation officer. In its modernisations, tenants are typically offered a choice of units, work tops, wall and floor tiles and decorations in the kitchen, and a choice of sanitary ranges, wall and floor tiles and decorations in the bathroom.

Choice here goes a very long way beyond the traditional norm of paint colours