A message from our Chair
Welcome to our annual report for 2017/18. This look back at the year gives you a chance to see how we have performed and gives us an opportunity to reflect on our achievements, as well as looking to the future.
During a year that saw us celebrate our tenth birthday and the achievements of our first decade, we also introduced a new look and renewed our focus on the future. We are committed to delivering high-quality services and improving communities by working together with our tenants. Our goal is to become an organisation that our tenants feel confident in and connected to.
With this in mind, we sent out a new service standards booklet to every household last year, setting out our promises to you. This report shows what we’ve been doing to hold ourselves to those high standards.
As a not-for-profit organisation, we need a strong financial position to support our work – both to deliver excellent services to you and to achieve our ambitious development plans, which will provide much-needed new homes. Our finance and treasury teams have worked hard this year to ensure we have strong financial support for the future.
The tragic incident at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 has had a lasting impact on the housing sector. The safety and wellbeing of all of our residents remains our top priority, and this year our Board voted to introduce sprinklers throughout our Abbey View and Munden View tower blocks – they will be installed in 2018/19. We will, of course, continue to monitor the outcomes of the government’s review of building regulations and fire safety to make sure that we keep you and your home safe.
2017/18 has been an outstanding year, which has seen us perform well against our main objectives. As always, your feedback is the most important part of our journey, so please do get in touch to let us know what we are doing well and where we could continue to improve.
John Swinney, Chair
A message from our Chief Executive
This year has been filled with achievements to be proud of. In particular, we’ve maintained very high levels of satisfaction with our repairs service, built much-needed new homes and brought in new systems that allow us to operate more efficiently and deliver better services for you. We remain focused on providing homes and services that allow you to live life to the full and, in line with our values, we continue to innovate to make sure we achieve this.
Some of our biggest accomplishments this year have been in improving how we work for you, and with you. By working with our tenants, the level of rent arrears owed to us is currently the lowest it’s been for almost a decade and we have made progress in reducing the time it takes us to re-let empty properties. This year also saw the launch of our brand new digital tenancy services, which allow you to manage your tenancy more quickly and easily online – and hundreds of people have already signed up and started making use of these services.
Our dedication to creating friendlier communities remains as strong as ever. One of our key goals in 2017/18 was to make sure that you have the chance to engage with us and shape the services we deliver, so we launched a new ‘Involvement Menu’ which sets out the wide variety of ways you can get involved with what we do and how we’re run.
We’ve also been helping people from different backgrounds learn and achieve for themselves with our apprenticeships, which are helping to grow a workforce for the future that can deliver better services for you. We now have ten apprentices working with us and completing courses in a range of different disciplines, from repairs and IT to HR and customer services.
Finally, our development programme has continued to show fantastic results. We’re more than halfway to our ambition of building 1,000 homes by 2020, and the homes we’re building are of an impressively high quality. Establishing innovative partnerships has allowed us to deliver even more new homes in different areas, and we will continue to pursue opportunities to build desperately needed housing in the coming years.
Thank you for taking the time to read this report and for continuing to work with us to achieve our vision of better homes, friendlier communities – together.