Investing in our homes
Investing in our homes is essential. It not only forms part of our commitment to provide safe, well-maintained homes for our customers, but it also plays a big part in providing a customer experience that’s future proof.
We continually invest in our properties to ensure our homes and communities remain safe and well maintained, and this will not change.
In the last financial year, for example, we invested £68.8 million in the maintenance and improvement of our existing homes, along with £13 million on a range of health and fire safety measures.
We’re working innovatively to ensure we carry out sustained investment into our homes, informed by the right data and accurate intelligence of our customer experience, so we can continue to meet and exceed expectations.
We know that the rising cost of living and energy prices are affecting our customers, and we’ve adapted our investment programme to make sure we target those customers who need support from us the most.
Tackling homes which have mould and damp is also a key focus for our team and we’re committed to ensuring that as a sector we deliver long terms solutions for customers in this position. We’ve already taken several proactive steps which are making a real impact. We provide specialist training to our surveyors on diagnosing mould and condensation in homes, fixing the situation, and focusing on solutions to prevent condensation and mould from reoccurring.
In the small number of cases where ongoing monitoring is required, our surveyors issue hygrometer (humidity detection) devices, which allows the customer to monitor the humidity and air temperature within their home over a period of time. This provides us and them with a clear picture and means we’re able to work with the customer to find a long-term solution.
Continually improving our homes is a fundamental part of our strategy, which is why we’ve proactively committed to investing £570m in improvements between now and 2030.
Surveying our homes
To better inform that investment programme, last year we launched an ambitious programme to survey all the homes we own and manage. We’ve invested £2.8 million into this project and we’re one of only a few housing associations to take this approach.
Working alongside property specialists Savills, we’ve already surveyed 80% of our homes and together with our skilled in-house teams we’re building a complete picture of every one of our buildings.
Using this information, we can better plan for future investment, understand where improvements need to be made, and ultimately continue to provide our customers with safe, well-maintained homes.
It’s also important to us that we maintain our neighbourhoods, working with customers to understand what improvements they’d like to see.
Now in our third year, our neighbourhood enhancement programme will see us invest nearly £1.5 million by April 2023 to enhance the areas customers live in. Through almost 70 different projects we’ll invest over £450k in bin stores, £772k in neighbourhood improvements and £225k to enhance our Independent Living schemes.
We’ve already invested over £100k in Dorset to tackle anti-social behaviour and we’ve created a new accessible play area for young people to enjoy in Somerset. Our customers are consulted on all projects to find out what changes they want to see, and as a result of our improvements they’ve told us they feel safe and proud of the areas they live in.
Energy efficient homes
Our ambition is that every one of our homes has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘C’ or above by 2030, with 84% currently reaching this goal.
Of the new homes we delivered during 2021/2022, 97% have an EPC rating of ‘B’ and we’re committed to continuing to build to this standard, investing in our homes now to ensure they’re energy efficient for customers in the future.
Expanding our service
As we look forward, we recognise the value of being data driven in our approach and we’re committed to driving up investment into our homes for our customers now and into the future. We’re continuing to explore the technology being developed within our sector to drive automation, which will ultimately enhance our customer experience.
It’s vital that we continue to provide safe, well-maintained homes, to keep pace with the changing needs of our customers. Our experienced team, coupled with the financial strength of the business and our drive to invest in our people and communities, puts us in a good position to meet these aims.
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