We’re an ambitious bunch
And we certainly can’t be faulted for not dreaming big...
- tackling homelessness
- fixing inequality
- improving health and wellbeing in our communities and in the workplace
- giving people opportunities to better their lives
- making a positive impact on the environment
… are just some of our goals for the next five years.
But these are big issues. And we know we can’t solve them alone. You know the saying – there’s no I in team. We work with the big guys (and the little ones) to get stuff done and make the change we want to see in the world. Local authorities, the government, NHS, Community groups and more.
In the next five years we want to do even more which means palling up with even more organisations and getting stuck in with even bigger projects.
Big goals need a good plan. We’ve split our plan for the next five years down into seven key points:
Build more homes
If everyone is to have a safe, warm and sustainable home, things need to change. We must increase the supply of new housing. So, we will develop differently, to increase the speed of delivery and gain direct control of quality.
- Build at least 1,250 homes each year by 2025, working collaboratively with the government and other organisations that share our values to significantly exceed this.
- Create high-quality homes that enable and enhance communities, and are well managed and maintained.
- Deliver innovatively, striving to maximise the number of off-site manufactured homes we deliver, to minimise our carbon footprint, and to grow our in-house construction team to drive efficiency and quality.
Invest more in our existing homes
By setting new and higher standards for our homes, prioritising our regeneration programme and investing in new technology, we will create great homes, places and communities where people want to live.
- Invest in and strengthen our data systems and processes to provide intelligence on our portfolio of homes and enable active asset management. We will share information directly with customers, empowering them to play their part in maintaining their homes.
- Invest and expand our Commercial Services division so we can do most of the work on our properties ourselves, to control quality, reduce our carbon footprint and efficiently serve our customers.
- Cultivate a genuine health and safety culture by investing in training and becoming a sector leader.
100% customer satisfaction
Our customers deserve great service so we will pursue 100% customer satisfaction as our ultimate goal. We have set out our commitments clearly in our Customer Charter, which was designed with, and for, our customers and is supported with a clear set of performance targets, monitored and owned by our board.
- Implement a sector-leading proactive housing management system, best in class complaints handling and a true omnichannel service approach, giving our customers new and additional services as well as real choice in how they interact with us.
- Invest in developing the housing professionals of the future, delivering our services through professionally accredited customer-facing and back-office teams with a genuine understanding of the housing sector.
- Work in partnership with our customers, putting their voice at the heart of our organisation and using it to drive innovation and the continuous improvement of our services.
Invest more to create thriving communities
We know that some of our communities are not getting the chance to thrive, with reduced life chances and insufficient support to succeed. We have conducted detailed research to identify the six areas of greatest need within our geography and are building community investment plans to drive change and build social cohesion.
- Transform at least six community investment zones, with targeted, well-supported activity, working in close partnership with our customers and stakeholders.
- Create new pathways into training, employment and careers, giving thousands of customers new opportunities to take back financial control of their lives over the duration of this strategy.
- Build an approach that delivers both major employer partnerships and significant additional funding into our community investment fund.
Create a great place to work
To achieve our ambitions, we must be a highly effective organisation. This starts with creating a great place to work for our colleagues.
So, we will put significant energy and resources into improving our ways of working, our work environment, the tools we use and in nurturing and developing our talent. This will also make us a more attractive partner and collaborator on major projects, help attract great people and increase our ability to exert influence, locally and nationally. We will measure our achievement of this objective by checking what our customers, colleagues and stakeholders think of us.
- Create a new identity for our organisation, leading with our values, prioritising culture and actively working to increase diversity to be a recognised employer and partner of choice in the sector and beyond.
- Ensure colleagues can deliver their best work supported by a strong corporate centre providing the leadership, services and change management capability to improve, innovate and thrive.
- Make sure that our own perceptions match reality by seeking external validation (Times 100 and Platinum Investors in People) and by always seeking our colleagues’ views and input.
- Acknowledge the role of the board in leading on culture under the UK Code of Governance.
During the life of this strategy we anticipate finding new ways to significantly democratise the running of our organisation, increasing the extent to which colleagues contribute, feel a sense of ownership and have their voices heard on all significant matters. We believe we can create a new contract between employee and employer, one that increases the sense of collaboration and partnership to achieve our shared aims, making this a really inspiring place to work.
Manage our business to the highest standards
We have a responsibility to manage our business to the very highest standards, delivering real value for money for our customers, maintaining compliance with all relevant laws and regulations and safeguarding our future. Our board understands our treasury portfolio, our financial golden rules and all aspects of good governance and they will hold us to account to ensure we retain our G1 Governance and V1 Viability ratings and that we achieve an A2 credit rating.
Our board, acting under the UK Code of Governance, will define our risk appetite, regularly stress-test our financial plan and will ensure that we implement all audit recommendations.
- Enable the group to do more for customers by simplifying our group structure, managing our money and assets better and by ensuring direct accountability to our customers through highly effective scrutiny and co-regulation.
- Improve our performance in terms of management costs relative to our peers by improving the performance of our supply chain measurably.
- Enhance the strength and influence of our board with clear recruitment and development plans, and full implementation of the UK Code of Governance.
Climate change: the challenge of a generation
The challenge of climate change places a specific duty on housing associations to respond and find a way to minimise their carbon footprint and maximise the positive steps they take to protect the environment. The extensive consultations we undertook with our customers and colleagues strongly asserted their shared expectations that our organisation would make significant gains in relation to the environmental agenda.
This means changes to our development plans, addressing inefficiency in our existing stock and making significant changes to our operations. Consistent with our stated approach of leading with questions and basing decisions on evidence, we will invest in targeted research to identify the most effective way forward.
- Undertake an Executive-led research project to accurately baseline current levels, identify options, set targets and agree our five-year carbon strategy.
- Create significant carbon literacy right across our organisation, empowering colleagues and customers to minimise our shared footprint.
- Put in place accurate carbon accounting to track our progress, identifying a clear future date by which we expect to become carbon neutral or even better, carbon negative.