Welcome to our annual report for 2019/20, which sets out our key achievements so that you can see how we are performing. As always, our priority throughout the year has been on providing the high-quality homes and excellent services that you expect from us.
We achieved a huge amount over the last 12 months, as you’ll be able to see from the report. As well as a range of improvements to how we deliver services, we have continued to upgrade homes to make sure they are modern and safe.
Three years on from the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, there is more focus than ever on what landlords are doing to ensure residents’ safety and wellbeing. We have continued to invest in this area and we are proud to be leading the way in delivering safety enhancements to our homes.
However, it was also a challenging year – particularly with the coronavirus crisis, which has affected every one of us enormously. We had to adapt very quickly in response to the pandemic, finding new ways of working and putting in place a range of measures to allow us to continue providing the most vital services to our communities safely.
I believe we responded extremely well to these pressures but, inevitably, we were unable to deliver some of our day-to-day services during this time. This was because of the need to prioritise emergencies and work that directly affected people’s safety and wellbeing. I’d like to thank you for your patience as we worked hard to get up and running again, in line with the government’s guidance.
In March 2020, we also experienced a data incident that affected a large number of our customers. We understand just how important trust is to people and we know that this raised concerns for many residents. I want to reassure you that we took the incident extremely seriously. We did all we could to respond quickly to the error and offer comprehensive support to everyone affected. This has subsequently been acknowledged by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
We have recently retained our V1 rating for viability and our G1 rating for governance following an in-depth assessment by the Regulator of Social Housing. This demonstrates that we are well-governed and we are more determined than ever to show you that we are deserving of your trust going forward.
As we look ahead, we remain committed to working closely with residents so that you can help to shape our future. If you have any feedback on this report or our services, please do get in touch.
John Swinney, Chair
A message from our Chief Executive
2019/20 marked the final year in our 2016-2020 business plan. Although the government’s rent reduction programme had a significant impact on our finances over this period, it was a very successful four years as we achieved the key goals set out in our plan.
These included improvements to many of our services, making life easier for our customers and helping to ensure that we meet your expectations. We worked to build community capacity by supporting local projects and offering more through our community hubs, in line with our goals as a Community Gateway housing association.
By developing strong partnerships with other organisations we are delivering more for local people and have become an active developer of much-needed new homes. We have also made sure that we remain on a strong financial footing so that we can continue to grow and provide great services for you in the future.
We will soon be launching our new 2020-2025 business plan, although it has been delayed slightly because of the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to build on the great work of the last four years, with a plan that puts customers at the heart of our work.
During 2019/20, we consulted residents about our priorities for the next five years and what you told us will form the basis of our Customer Promise, which will be at the centre of the new business plan. We will also look to keep growing so that we can deliver even more, as well as working with local authorities to build more homes for the people who need them most.
We know just how important people’s homes are to them. We’ve all had to spend more time than ever in our homes as a result of the pandemic and, as employers have adapted to new ways of working, it’s also likely that lots of people will spend more time working from home in the future. We’re proud of the vital role we play in people’s lives and we’re committed to carrying on providing high-quality homes that help to keep people safe, comfortable and happy over the years to come.