Halton Housing 2013/2014

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Here’s how our stats from the past 12 months tot up

  • Years in Action
    9
  • Members of Staff
    267
  • New Homes
    70
  • Number of Homes
    6,446
  • Twitter Followers
    5,644
  • Customer Happiness
    96.4%
  • Money Raised for Charity
    £200,000

During the past few years, we have seen a lot of recognition for our work, both locally and nationally. Here’s where we take a moment to pat ourselves on the back and share our achievements with you.

2013/14 was our best ever year.

We relet our homes quicker. We collected more rent. We built new homes and have more in the pipeline. We continue to improve our void turnaround. This year our target was 24 days, we achieved 19.5 days. We've invested more in our homes and have sustained high levels of customer satisfaction.

10

We won the Best Public Sector Campaign for our Welfare Reform work.  And we have also been asked to speak and take part in key events in the sector.

The Trust came out top in the Visceral Connected Housing Index,  Nick Atkin, our Chief Executive, came top in the Digital Leadership rankings, as well as:

NUMBER
20
IN THE
TOP
50
POWER PLAYERS

Our Board of Management is made up of nine members. Six recruited Board Members and three local authority Board Members who help to run the organisation. The Board’s role is to make strategic and major policy decisions, set the budget and monitor company performance.  Here is all you need to know about the Board.

Ingrid Fife

Chair of the Board

Meet our Board Members

  • Steve Licence

    Vice Chair of the Board and Lead Member for Property Services

  • Judith Winterbourne

    Lead Member for Development

  • Mark Forrest

    Lead Member for Business Development and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Arthur Cole

    Lead Member for Housing Services

  • Mark Dennett

    Audit and Risk Committee Chair

  • Mike Fry

    Lead Member for Welfare Reform

  • Stephen Pimblett

    Lead Member for Value for Money, Audit and Risk Vice Chair

  • Mary Lamb

    Lead Member for Human Resources and Health and Safety and Remuneration and Nominations Committee Chair

Reduced Board size from 12 to 9 members.

In March 2014 we made the following changes to the Trust’s Governance Structure, this will help us strengthen and grow the organisation for the benefit of customers.

All Board Members to have a maximum term of nine consecutive years (three, three-year terms).

All Board Members are chosen based on the skills they bring to the table.

Three of the nine positions are for the Local Authority nominees.

Board Member Skills

  • Knowledge of the needs, aspirations and concerns of customers and communities served by the association.
  • Commercial business, business planning, financial and management skills.
  • Funding, planning and development for housing and regeneration.
  • Care, support and the needs of vulnerable people.
  • Risk management and mitigation.
  • Governance and working as one of a Board team.
  • Communications, marketing and public affairs.
  • Working with local authorities, other government and statutory bodies and other local and national partners.
  • Public policy and politics relating to the wider social housing sector.
  • Experience of working as a non-executive Director, executive Director or at senior level of a private company, plc. or substantial public or third sector organisation.

In 2012 we set ourselves four main priorities for the next few years, which we called Our Direction. Take a look at our progess.

Protecting our current income.

Welfare Reform changes and the introduction of the under occupancy deduction means our income is at risk. We are helping affected customer and working with them to minimize the risk, through either downsizing or finding employment. It has been evident that we have had to take a more direct approach to managing rent arrears owed to us.

Reduce costs and drive efficiencies.

We continue to look for the best value for money options in all our activities.

We have achieved Value for Money gains of £1.5million for 2013/2014 and have plans to achieve an additional £3.1million gains in the future.

We have identified £500k of recurring savings through our budget-setting process. Areas of savings include:

  • Realigning our staffing structures.
  • Changing how we communicate with our customers.
  • ICT contracts.
  • Subscriptions.
  • Challenging the investment of resources and resulting outcomes in many different activities.

Focus resources and services.

We regularly review our services to provide the right services, to our customers, when they need it.  This includes making our services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

Generate new income.

The combination of capital market and bank funding was arranged by the Trust’s existing lender, Lloyds Banking Group. The separate deals included a private placement and a restructuring of the Trust’s existing funding.

We have been awarded the Investment Partner Status from the Homes and Community Agency, which now means we can bid for development funding to build new homes in our own right.

We’re always looking to provide the best possible service for our customers.  Here’s what we are doing well and we could do better.

As you can see, we’re improving year-on-year...

    • Enquiries 94
    • Complaints 450
    • Complaints Upheld 294
    • Percentage Upheld 65%
    • Compliments 173
    • Enquiries 68
    • Complaints 344
    • Complaints Upheld 170
    • Percentage Upheld 49%
    • Compliments 217
    • Enquiries 78
    • Complaints 307
    • Complaints Upheld 189
    • Percentage Upheld 61%
    • Compliments 267
    • Enquiries 74
    • Complaints 197
    • Complaints Upheld 98
    • Percentage Upheld 50%
    • Compliments 186
    • Enquiries 141
    • Complaints 195
    • Complaints Upheld 73
    • Percentage Upheld 37%
    • Compliments 210

Our Scrutiny Panel

We really appreciate and value the input from our communities, so our Scrutiny Panel, made up of five volunteer customers, helps us make sure that we’re doing the best we can.  Most recently the Panel has undertaken a review of the Enquiries, Complaints and Compliments service and made a number of recommendations to Board including the name change Talk to the Trust.

Our Customers

We work hard to ensure that every customer has the services and support that they need.  Take Leah and Amanda, for example…

Leah's Story

Leah McKeown first became involved with us when she moved into her apartment with the help of our Tenancy Support Team.

Leah contacted our Customer Engagement Officer about our employment programme and securing a bursary.  Leah wanted to become an Ofsted registered nanny enabling her to offer services to families in receipt of child tax credits.  After becoming a registered nanny, Leah then went on to start her own business delivering Disney themed messages to young children.

Amanda’s Story

Amanda Harkins was living in a one bedroom bungalow, with an adapted bathroom which included a level access shower area.  This was suitable and practical at that time and met her needs as she did not need to use her wheelchair all of the time.

Amanda soon required her wheelchair permanently and needed to move to a more suitably adapted home.

Amanda registered on Property Pool Plus and completed the relevant Health and Welfare Forms. As Amanda’s health conditions were complex, an Occupational Therapist from Halton Borough Council visited and identified that she now had more specific housing needs.  Amanda moved into her new home in October.

Selfies

We were looking for a way our customers could get more involved in compiling our annual report.  As most people are aware  of what selfies are, we thought this would be a fun way for our customers to record any positive feedback they have from the past 12 months.

From our services and rent collection to community happiness, here you can see how we’re able to provide the level of satisfaction that we do. And what we are doing to improve on this.

Finances

Arrears

  • In 2012/2013 we collected

    £26,109,412
  • In 2013/2014 we collected

    £27,727,779
  • In 2014/2015 our target

    £28,476,983
  • Arrears levels at year end:

    £627,764

Facts & Figures

  • Number of customers subject to the under occupation charge:

    861
  • Number of downsizes/transfers (June 2013 to March 2014):

    69
  • Level of Discretionary Housing Payments received in the year:

    £134,548
  • Potential household income gains:

    £879,967

Services

  • Valid gas safety certificate
  • Appointments made and kept
  • Non-emergency repairs within timescales
  • Repairs and maintenance satisfaction
  • 99.8%

    Of properties holding a valid gas safety certificate at the end of March 2014.

  • 99.7%

    Of our appointments are kept

  • 97.3%

    Of non-emergancy repairs within timescales

  • 96.4%

    Of our customers are satisfied with our Repairs and Maintenance

Rent

In April 2013, the Board approved rent increases, but our rents remain lower than every other Housing Associations in the area.  This enables us to continue to offer high levels of customer service and the delivery of ongoing investment in your homes and local communities.

Average Rents

  • 93%

    of our customers are satisfied that their rent provides good value for money.

  • 85.4%

    that their service charge provides value for money.

Antisocial Behaviour

We had a number of high profile antisocial behaviour cases over the last year, and we publicised a number of eviction cases to ensure customers know that we don’t accept antisocial behaviour in our homes and neighbourhoods.

We work closely with Cheshire Police and have been successful in obtaining a Closure Order. It is the second time that the Police have applied for an anti-social behaviour Closure Order – and the first of its kind for Halton.

The order was made under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, which allows the closure of premises associated with the occurrence of disorder or serious nuisance.

  • 2013/14
  • 2014
  • 2014/15
  • 2013/14
  • 2015
2013|2014|2015

We pride ourselves on going above and beyond the delivery of regular services and are always looking to make our customers lives a little easier.  We’ve won awards for our approach.

Welfare Reform

We created a video infographic to support our customers with the impact of Welfare Reform.  The video provided advice and information on the five main changes introduced by Welfare Reform.  It was so effective that other Housing Associations adapted our infographic to support their customers.  In return we asked them to make a donation to our nominated charity.

You can watch our award winning infographic here

Our Welfare Reform video

We identified that 1,132 of our customers were under-occupying and we are continuing to support them to ensure they are aware of all their options.

LifeKit

To compliment the video we have created “LifeKit”, a self-help guide for customers.  The online tool provides advice, support and helpful tips on a wide range of topics, with a focus on money matters to help with concerns around Welfare Reform.

There are five sections which provide customers with information and advice ranging from budgeting to healthy eating.

We continue to develop the LifeKit in preparation for the introduction of Universal Credit.

Go to lifekit.haltonhousing.org

We like to make sure that we continue to re-invest into our local community, through various schemes and events. It’s an important part of what we do to ensure we make a continued difference and that we’re doing our bit.

Supporting Widnes Vikings

We continued our partnership with the Widnes Vikings to attract more children to watch home games at the Stobbart Stadium during the 2013-2014 seasons.

We had more than 60 children put to their paces at the popular Widnes Vikings Summer Camp.

The Summer Camp ran over two days on 27th and 28th August 2013 and attracted children from Widnes and Runcorn and even Frodsham.

Older people in Halton were able to relive the glory days of the Widnes Rugby League when former World Cup player George Nicholls dropped in to visit them.

Our customers living at Naughton Fields extra care scheme and Quarry Court in Widnes were treated to an afternoon of 50s, 60s and 70s rugby nostalgia, where they watched vintage video footage and viewed memorabilia from Widnes Viking’s past.

 

Our Charity Work

We raised approximately £9,700 for Alzheimers Society.

£5000 was a donation made by the Trust, to set up the Singing for the Brain group.

£5000

The rest was raised through various fundraising activities, such as cake-baking stalls at both offices, running marathons, and a zip wire challenge.

£4700

We can’t tell the future, but if we could, we could tell you that ours is set to be a bright one. Here are our plans for the coming years.

 

We will continue to focus on Our Direction, and supporting our customers through the changes that Welfare Reform will bring. Here is how we see the future shaping up.

Did you find this report useful? Do you feel like you know us a bit better? If you want to get in touch, or request a copy of our DVD, there’s plenty of ways you can do so.