ANNUAL REPORT 2015-16
ADRODDIAD BLYNYDDOL 2015-16
CONTACT US | CYSYLLTWCH Â NI
We have just completed the 4th year of our 5 year plan. The world has changed significantly since 2012, when we set out our ambitions. The change from a coalition to a single party government at Westminster in 2015 ushered in far more radical (and unannounced) changes to Welfare Policy and a much more hostile environment for Housing Associations. Although the devolved Government in Wales shielded us from the worst of Westminster Housing Policy, we are increasingly exposed to the impact of Welfare Reform.
We have seen a recovery in the Housing Market, and despite our fears that we would not be able to secure grant funding to keep our rents affordable, we have been able to retain a good average grant rate throughout the period.
This has enabled us to keep building – our Board’s central priority has always been to create more new homes for people in need. Our target over the 5 years was that we’d create a safe and secure home for 500 people. In just 4 years, we’ve achieved this for 800 people. This means that each one now has access to a warm, safe place where families can grow, and lives can become more settled.
The strap line to our 2012 Plan was #notjusthousing – we wanted to add value to people’s lives, by helping them gain self-confidence, set goals for their future and become financially better off. We changed the focus of our Community Investment team, and began running courses and programmes to help people train for the workplace. In the 4 years we have been running these programmes we have enabled 1,795 to start their ‘Jobs Journey’. Our Housing and Support Teams have helped 564 people to become better off financially, and our Maintenance Team has improved our homes so that over 99% have a SAP rating of 65+, which means lower bills.
As a Community based Association, our customers and their neighbourhoods matter to us. Many Board Members and Staff live in the areas we serve, so they have a stake in the community. Customer Service satisfaction levels have stayed high at over 90%, and our Maintenance Service gets work done ‘right first time’ 98.6% of the time. The safety of our Customers and Staff is our number one priority, so we are pleased to report 100% compliance with electrical testing and over 99% of homes having a valid gas safety certificate.
Our core business has grown, with a turnover of £11.1 million. We have taken on an additional contract for Support in Cardiff, and our Lettings Agency, Adore, is expanding. We have cemented our position as investors in Locality, and have supported their product development and expansion into the Australasian market.
None of this progress can happen without a great team of staff. Our front line staff in Housing & Communities, Property Services and Support Services, as well as our professional services staff in IT, Corporate Services, HR and Finance keep systems running smoothly in the background. We have started a major investment programme in IT, to make us ‘digital ready’ for the future. This goes alongside the first major re-structure for nearly 10 years.
We have many, many challenges ahead, but we also have an exciting future, embracing new technology and new ways of working. We are now near the end of this Plan, and whilst we can look back and be proud of what we have achieved, we are also laying the foundations for our next 5 year Business Plan. We are motivated and energised to do even better in future, transforming ourselves for a fresh start in April 2017.
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