The power of partnerships

By Bjorn Howard, group chief executive officer

Welcome to the latest edition of our MP newsletter. For this issue we're focusing on the power of partnerships across our business. Never has it been more vital to collaborate with our partners to proactively support our customers.

Since our last edition there has been considerable political change. I want to congratulate the DLUHC team on their appointments and the re-appointment of Mr Gove. We're keen to see the Department build on its promises to put communities at the heart of housing. Community land trusts (CLTs), where development projects are shaped by local residents, align perfectly with this aim but are currently an underused method of housing delivery. I’m proud that we are one of the leading partners of CLTs in the UK, having delivered 13 schemes to date. We’ve also integrated CLTs into our commitment to deliver 1,550 new homes by March 2028 as a strategic partner of Homes England, which you can read more about here.

This newsletter gives you more insight into the various connections we have as a Group, to do the best we can to make a difference for our customers and communities.

Discover more about how our ASB team is working to tackle county lines, how our experienced Development team has worked with Mendip District Council to help them develop council-owned land, and how the Aster Foundation is providing support to our communities.

Underpinning our work is our partnership activity with smaller housing associations and like-minded organisations. We recently completed a merger with Enham Trust, a disability charity that supports disabled people to live, work and enjoy life to the full. This is our third successful merger in the past two years, having merged with Dorset-based East Boro Housing Trust (EBHT) in 2020 and London’s Central & Cecil Housing Trust (C&C) in 2022; both of which provide housing and support predominantly to older and vulnerable people. Together we have over 36,000 homes and have pledged to invest £570m in enhancing our existing properties, including those owned by the smaller entities in the Group. We have a £2.4bn development plan to build 11,000 new homes by 2030, which includes the 1,550 new homes through our Homes England Strategic Partnership, referenced above.

Following the news of the tragic death of Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould in his family’s home, such an avoidable loss of life may rightly be causing concern to some customers of housing associations. Over the past couple of years, we have been working really proactively with customers to help keep their homes safe. If you receive any queries directly from your constituents regarding condensation or mould in one of our homes, we would encourage you to direct them to report it to us immediately so we can address these concerns.

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest newsletter. If you’d like to discuss any issues related to our sector or services then please do get in touch