The judges were impressed by the level of choice being offering to residents, naming Higgins Construction winner of the affordable sector trophy, while Laing Homes was awarded the private sector prize. Sponsor of this category is Housing Today

Winner – Affordable Housing
Higgins Construction

Personal consultations, computer displays, and a chance to decide on your room layouts: this is not the service provided by a luxury housebuilder for its buyers but by affordable housing contractor Higgins Construction for tenant occupants of its projects. Its community development team provides a dedicated liaison officer for every project to manage personal consultations individually with residents. Second:
Whitefriars Housing Group

In tackling the massive task of bringing Coventry’s affordable housing stock up to the Decent Homes Standard, Whitefriars is not only offering tenants choices, it also has an occupational therapist on hand to ensure that improvements are suitable for tenants with special needs. Whitefriars is partnering with contractors Wates and Lovell to carry out the improvements. Third:

Lovell targets the affordable end of the for-sale market, particularly the first-time buyer, but still offers a full range of options and choices, including conservatories, wardrobes, and smart home technology. The company also offers a Home Start package of cash incentives and home essentials tailored for first-time buyers.

Winner – Private housing
Laing Homes

Laing’s Homestyle service offers a choice of extra products and includes services such as interior design and even removals. The company’s House to Home removals service, using leading removal companies, is now so popular that two-thirds of its customers are using it. A landscape gardening service has been introduced at some of the company’s schemes with buyers being offered the chance to purchase a pre-designed garden layout or work with a company on a bespoke design. Second:
Ward Homes

Visions is the name given to a weighty glossy catalogue packed with kitchen, bathroom and other interior and exterior accessories, which is the centrepiece of Ward Homes’ service. The housebuilder is planning to make Visions available on its website and on CD-ROM. Third:
Twigden Homes

Twigden’s buyers are spending between £5000 and £11,000 on the items offered under its Choices service, way above the industry average spend on extras. The company showcases its Choices range in its showhomes, and is opening a dedicated Choices House at a scheme in Peterborough next month.