Welcome to our annual report for 2018/19. We have put together this summary of the last year so that you can see how we are performing and what we have achieved. By working closely with residents we have continued to provide high-quality services and make improvements which help us to deliver on our vision of better homes and friendlier communities.
As an organisation, we now have a much more complex business structure, and this year we have seen our new partnerships flourish. We have made strides towards our development aspirations, building safe, modern and affordable homes across a range of tenures and in different areas. Delivering much-needed housing is vital to providing for our local communities, and we will continue to invest in this area.
Ensuring our residents are safe has always been our top priority. We have, therefore, also invested significant amounts in making homes as safe as possible. In particular, we continue to reflect on how best to respond to the concerns raised by the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and have, for example, installed new sprinkler systems in our high-rise blocks to give residents the best protection available.
Ensuring we have a secure and strong financial position means that we can continue to improve our services to you. This year, our finance teams have been working hard to source funding to support improved services and more new homes.
As we move into the final year of our 2016-2020 business plan, we continue to perform positively against our objectives and aspirations. We have also begun to develop our plans for the future, making sure we keep residents at the heart of our service.
As always, we do our best work when we are informed by our residents. If you would like to share your feedback on the annual report or on our services, please do get in touch.
John Swinney, Chair
A message from our Chief Executive
2018/19 has been particularly positive for Watford Community Housing. As always, all of our work has been focused on providing safe, affordable and high-quality homes along with friendlier communities for all. We have continued to see improved results for our residents, including significant successes and progression towards a bright future. It is a strong reflection of our progress that overall satisfaction with our services has increased by 9% from this time last year.
We are very pleased to have secured a multi-million pound grant from Homes England to provide a large number of homes for social rent in partnership with Watford Borough Council. Being able to provide truly affordable housing is one of our key aims, and we are thrilled to be able to actively demonstrate that commitment. The 58 social homes which we can now provide will go some way to increasing the provision of much-needed housing which meets the needs of people in the local area.
Putting in place our new cleaning and grounds maintenance contract with Accuro was one of our biggest accomplishments this year. This was the result of many hours of collaborative working between residents, staff and the Group Board – and we are confident that it will result in a service that meets the high standards you expect from us.
Now that the contract is in place, we will be monitoring the new approach to ensure it meets these expectations so we are providing the best for our communities. This is just one example of how we are working more closely with residents than ever before, with lots of people ordering from our Involvement Menu to find ways to get involved with helping us to deliver better services and do valuable work in the community.
Thank you for reading this report on our activity over the last year at Watford Community Housing, and for working with us to help us improve and grow. We will continue to strive for better homes and friendlier communities – together.