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Our vision for 2015
This plan brings together our ambitions to improve our services to customers, help more people to meet their housing and care needs, and support more people into work and out of poverty.
Since 2009 Yorkshire Housing has become a more focused and streamlined organisation.
This Plan continues much of this work as we complete the move to a new model for customer and neighbourhood services and become more efficient by moving to a single corporate centre in Leeds.
The change of Government and the continuing economic downturn have affected all areas of our work. The growing housing crisis and pressures in the care system affect more people and communities in Yorkshire than ever. We believe strong and active housing associations are critical for customers and neighbourhoods in these difficult times.
By 2015 we aim to be known for our excellence. We will be providing homes and services for more people in more neighbourhoods across Yorkshire.
To achieve excellence we will:
- Deliver excellent customer service
- Provide great homes
- Support our customers and their communities
- Be an employer of choice
- Be an efficient business
Our values Respect, Reliability and Enthusiasm are core threads that run throughout this plan.
We love it, love everything in the property. It’s all modern and everything is good quality. They thought of everything, even the shed and rotary dryer was provided which when you’re moving house is great with all the expense.
The journey so far…
Since 2009 we have made significant progress in our ambition to be among the best providers.
- Improved customer satisfaction with our repair service to be among the best in our sector
- Increased investment in existing homes, met the Decent Homes Standard in 2010 and started a major programme of investment in energy efficiency
- Increased overall customer satisfaction with our landlord services
- Provided over 1400 new homes through the largest development programme in Yorkshire and the North East
- Reduced rent arrears and customer debt
- Streamlined governance and established effective tenant scrutiny through a customer-led Committee and a Service Inspector team
- Reshaped our services to older people and people with learning disabilities to reflect new commissioning priorities
- Expanded our award-winning Home Improvement Agencies
- Helped 450 families to stay in their homes through Mortgage rescue
- Improved our financial position and secured funding for the future
- Invested in management development across the organisation
Some other associations are looking to diversify as a strategy to deal with funding cuts. We already have a good balance of services and funding sources which we can grow.
The Coalition Government’s priorities are having a direct impact on our work in housing and care and support.
Funding for providing new affordable homes has been cut by over 60%. Supporting People funding has been reduced in most local authority areas. Reductions in funding for public services, which pays for care and support, such as local government and policing, are affecting neighbourhood services.
Welfare reforms to be introduced in the next few years will have a big impact on our customers, particularly the so-called “bedroom tax” which reduces benefit for people who have a spare bedroom. We expect increased demand on our debt advice service, rising levels of rent arrears and pressure on our financial capacity. Working age households, including families with children, are most affected by tax and benefit changes.
Care and support services are being redesigned and tendered by commissioning authorities. Providing quality services for vulnerable people on reducing budgets is a difficult challenge for not-for-profit providers.
We have secured funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to provide 800 homes across Yorkshire by 2015 and have raised the private finance needed to deliver this programme. To continue to provide new homes we will take a more active approach to managing our property assets, selling older obsolete housing in order to build more energy efficient and affordable new homes.
Learning new skills in the workplace has improved my ability to take on new challenges. I’m much more confident as a result of this apprenticeship. I enjoy helping people and because I live in a Yorkshire Housing home I can always see things from a customer perspective.
This Plan maintains our commitment to achieving excellence. We aim to grow, by building more homes and extending our services, despite the challenging financial conditions.
Our priorities are to:
- Provide more homes for people of working age on low incomes, as these are people who are most affected by the housing crisis and changes in tax and benefits
- Maintain support to customers of our older persons service, adapting the warden service, and working to reduce fuel poverty by targeting energy efficiency programmes
- Maintain our role as a provider of residential learning disabilities services and grow our community leisure and employment services
- Expand our Home Improvement Agency services, working with NHS, local authority and new partners
- Provide more sub-market rent homes and extend our role in government schemes to support the housing market through Space Property
- Provide more employment, training and skills opportunities for tenants, helping more people move into work
- Support customers who are affected by welfare reform, whilst protecting our income
- Maintain performance in our successful PFI partnership in Leeds.
Customers will have a strong voice and influence, particularly through the Customer Services Committee and Service Inspection team.
Our customers have told us that the most important things for them are:
- Getting repairs done right first time, at a time that suits them
- Being able to get hold of the right person easily, who can sort out their query or problem for them
- Seeing Yorkshire Housing staff in their neighbourhood and knowing that they understand local issues and can help
- Being listened to.
By 2015 customers will have a greater choice of ways to access our services – at a time and in a way that suits them best.
Services will be based on what customers tell us works for them; they will be able to see the direct impact of their feedback in improved services.
All our homes will be safe, warm and well maintained and we will move forward with our plan to tackle obsolete and low demand homes.
Many of our customers and communities face difficulties and challenges over the coming years. It is vital that we maintain our commitment to equality and diversity at this time, making sure we do all we can to address unfairness and injustice.
We will build on our excellent reputation for delivery, supporting local and national initiatives to create more homes and opportunities for people in Yorkshire.
We need measures so we can see how well we are doing.
Each service area and team has its own plan and measures, which together will deliver our corporate objectives. Your individual measures and targets make an important contribution to our overall success.
We will use key indicators to measure our progress to 2015:
- Improve overall customer satisfaction by 1% a year from 89% to 92%
- Improve customer satisfaction with their home by 2% a year from 84% to 90%
- Provide 800 new affordable homes by 2015
- Improve customer satisfaction with their neighbourhood by 1% a year from 84% to 87%
- Help 200 people into work
- 75% of employees recommending Yorkshire Housing as a good place to work, up from 59%
- Maintain our financial viability as assessed by our independent regulator.