our story 2009 | 2010
Arnold Tasker shares a joke with fellow residents at the Heath View extra care scheme
Our Story Chairman and Chief Executiveâ€™s foreword 4 increased investment in existing property 6 creating great places to live 10 increased community safety measures 14 further supporting the vulnerable 18 further supporting resident involvement 22 increased creation of local jobs 26 increased supply and choice of homes 30 how do we measure up? 34 looking to the future 38
If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen. A great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last. John Steinbeck, Author
Chairman and Chief Executive’s foreword – Our Story
Chief Executive Ken Perry meets customer Mrs McDonald during a ‘Beat the Chill’ winter warmth campaign
Welcome to this year’s annual review. 2009/10 was our first year of operation as a Neighbourhood investor. When we created Plus Dane Group in this way we set ourselves the mission of doing everything we can and using every asset we have to improve quality of life, choice and opportunity for the people our organisation was set up to serve. Our tenants and residents set the seven corporate objectives that drive us forward and this year’s review is designed to tell you real stories against each of these promises. The review is not full of facts and figures about
Plus Dane Group Chairman, John Pollard
Plus Dane, it is full of the people that matter, the real people feeling the difference our Neighbourhood investor approach is making.
schemes aimed at vulnerable customers and enhancing resident involvement and engagement through a major £32 million repairs and maintenance contract.
If the numbers are important to you, our formal accounts are posted on our website at www.neighbourhoodinvestor.com You will see from these that despite the difficult economic climate, we achieved good financial performance and have a strong capital and revenue structure going forward.
However, we are all aware that the world is currently a volatile place and we see good financial performance this year as helping with the even more challenging times to come.
We continued to grow as an organisation over the year, with over 16,000 homes in ownership and management across Merseyside and Cheshire and a turnover of over £52 million. Significant projects undertaken ranged from purchasing or developing over 700 homes and creating employment opportunities through our In Environmental Services (INES) scheme, to delivering a number of support
Plus Dane is not however about securing growth as an end in itself, but if it makes us stronger and doesn’t adversely affect our mission, then it can play an important part of our role as a Neighbourhood investor, enabling us both to increase the resources we put back into the neighbourhoods we serve and deliver even better services.
Our Story highlights just some examples of how this work is helping to improve people’s lives in different ways and create positive change across the neighbourhoods in which we work. This year’s strong performance has been achieved by board members, staff and tenants and residents working hard together for a common purpose. It is the strength of this team work that will continue to make a real difference in the year ahead. John Pollard Chairman
Ken Perry Chief Executive
Throughout the year we continued to develop and build on these aims, focusing our capacity and investment on ensuring that we deliver our seven promises through a wide range of work.
Our Story highlights just some examples of how this work is helping to improve people’s lives in different ways and create positive change across the neighbourhoods we in which work.
our Ni promise
increased investment in existing property
Diane McLoughlin Wife, mother to two children, local artist and lecturer
Plus Dane Group is all about the future. So when the chance came to take part in a competition to turn a worn-out old property into a pioneering eco-friendly home of tomorrow we jumped at it. David Cave and daughter Ella
The Technology Strategy Board’s £17 million Retrofit for the Future competition aims to demonstrate how green technologies can make existing homes more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions. Plus Dane Group’s project is the only scheme in Merseyside to receive funding and one of only seven in the North West. We secured more than £107,000 from the scheme, which will transform the Victorian end-terrace property in Wavertree, Liverpool.
Heat testing on the Retrofit scheme
And, after a competition to find someone to live in the city’s most eco-friendly home captured the imagination of the media, a family of four are now due to move in.
Project work gets underway
Local artist and lecturer Diane McLoughlin, her husband David Cave and their two children Ella and Jimmy are not what you would call eco-warriors. Their job is simply to live as they would elsewhere while energy experts monitor the way the property transforms their energy use. “We recycle and have an interest in the environment but we’re not what you’d call tree huggers,” says Diane, 35. “But since we’ve got involved in this project, we’ve been so impressed by the thinking behind it. “Going green shouldn’t be difficult to do, if people are going to change for the better then it should be easy to understand.” Diane and David, 39, who runs his own engineering company, have been living with their children in a one-bedroom flat in central Liverpool. They are delighted with their new three-bedroom home.
The technology is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, with much of the energy savings coming from bespoke super-insulation panels, developed by timber-frame supplier Maple, and triple glazing throughout. There’s also solar-powered water heating, LED lighting, A-rated appliances and a conservatory which heats air. Diane is impressed by the technology but is happier that her family will now live in a beautiful home with space for the children to play and - what’s she’s longed for most - a dining table where they can have dinner together. That the family should have vastly reduced energy bills isn’t bad either. Understanding and implementing best practice retrofitting of properties is key to reducing carbon emissions for the future.
The results from Retrofit for the Future will be shared to help provide clear future direction on making the UK’s current housing more energy efficient. Diane, who along with her family are active members of the project team, believes the project can kick-start the redesign of the UK's social housing stock. “If there’s going to be a real change in how we tackle climate change then older homes will have to be refurbished, it’s not an option to just demolish and rebuild,” she says. “If it works, it is going to show the way forward. I think maybe Britain has fallen behind Europe on this issue so it’s great Plus Dane are doing something about it.”
opposite her new home, designing and building models of their own versions of homes of the future. “I was so impressed with their knowledge of green issues. The danger is that the recession will mean green projects will be stopped, but children are clued up so we can be optimistic. “It’s like the way Plus Dane thinks - a free thinking attitude that’s open to new ideas. “There’s a lot of new technology that’s probably just round the corner so it’s right to start moving in that direction.”
As part of the project, Diane has been working with 25 pupils from Heygreen Community Primary School, which is
It’s like the way Plus Dane thinks - a free thinking attitude that’s open to new ideas. 9 8
our Ni promise
creating great places to live
Martin Horne, with sister Joanne Estate residents at the eco-friendly Castlefields development
Martin and Joanne in their eco-friendly home
Old and new properties as regeneration gets underway Resident and local entertainer, Chris Harrison
Plus Dane is a key partner in a multi-million pound Regeneration Masterplan for the area.
The story of Castlefields is a story of hope.
But while the financial figures are impressive, of more significance is the effect on the people who live there. Tenants like Chris Harrison.
An area that was once a byword for fragmentation and despair, it now has a shining future as Plus Dane’s investment in neighbourhoods pays off.
Chris, 63, moved to the area with his family in the 1960s and has seen Castlefields go from model village to one with many problems and now back again.
To date Plus Dane has invested more than £23 million in the regeneration of the area.
“It was a great place to be at first, there were plenty of jobs, the pubs were full, there was a real party atmosphere,” he says. “It was so much better than the lives we’d come from. There was an expectation and optimism.”
Working with Halton Borough Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, Liverpool Housing Trust and the North West Regional Development Agency,
But all this turned sour in the 1980s as thousands of jobs were lost in the nearby industrial areas of Speke and Halewood. And as people left in search of work, drug dealers and despair moved in. At one time Chris had three dealers on his ‘landing’ in the deck access flats he compares now to “pigeon cages”. His girlfriend couldn’t stand it and moved to London, taking their son with her. “It was intimidating living with dealers and addicts, police smashing doors down.” Chris adds. Chris, an entertainer and talent booker who spent nine years in the Navy, moved into a new two-bedroomed house near his old home as regeneration began.
It was so much better than the lives we’d come from. There was an expectation and optimism. And as the work reaches its climax, he is full of praise.
They are delighted with their new homes.
“I’ve watched the metamorphosis, especially in the last year when it’s really kicked in. Community spirit has started to develop again.
“When we walked in our eyes lit up. It’s ground floor entry, open and light, there’s a walk-in shower, it’s eco-friendly and there’s smaller bills. It’s brilliant.
“This is what regeneration can do, it can give people hope. “If the environment is right it can have positive impact on life psychologically.” Since 2004, nearly 900 deck-access flats have been demolished (nearly 400 by Plus Dane), and around 600 new homes (nearly 300 by Plus Dane) have been developed. It is people like Martin Horn, 41, and his sister Joanne, 40, who has disabilities, who are moving into the modern, eco-friendly properties. Martin and his sister were left in a four-bedroomed house with big bills and facilities that were unsuitable for Joanne’s disabilities when their father died.
“There’s lots of little things like bike sheds and bin sheds that just make everything more attractive, easy and green. “Plus Dane have been with us every step of the way, they helped sort out bills and transfer accounts when my dad died and it was all a bit much for me.”
Already a play area for children has been completed and countless hours of engagement projects with local people are bearing sweet fruit, especially those involving young people and challenging anti-social behaviour. Plus Dane will have played a lead role in recreating a green neighbourhood with a sustainable future. “Plus Dane is working on every aspect of community contentment,” adds Chris. “They are helping lift the self esteem of people, people are already more vibrant. I feel it personally.”
The scheme will include a new village square - due for completion in 2011 with shops that Plus Dane is investing more than £2 million in. There will also be a new health centre, community centre, café and library.
our Ni promise
increased community safety measures
Ryan Hulme Resident of Hungerford Road support accommodation and now planning for a career in the Army
Anti-social behaviour is one of the trickiest challenges housing associations face, but we are playing our part in driving it down.
Ryan Hulme in his Hungerford Road accommodation
Throughout Cheshire and Merseyside dedicated officers are engaging with tenants, local councils, the Police and other partners to develop a culture where bad behaviour is not tolerated and victims feel comfortable asking for help. Sometimes we have to get tough. A vulnerable tenant in Alsager, was inviting people to his property despite being warned about the neighbour nuisance these visitors – known to police as alcohol and drug users - were causing.
Plus Dane Walton resident, Charles Clarke
Many tenants, especially elderly, were intimidated by these people day and night. Plus Dane had already evicted his previous partner from one of our other properties – a process that costs us up to £30,000 – but
ASB security measures get installed
she then moved in with this man and brought along her pet snake! The tenant, who uses a wheelchair and relies on carers to visit him daily, was temporarily put into respite care while we cleaned the property, working with the RSPCA to tackle the snake - and took out six injunctions to keep trouble-causers away. To date only one of them has been breached - the perpetrator spent one night in custody and hasn’t been back since. More success comes in our preventive work. At Hungerford Road in Crewe we run an accommodation and support service for people aged 16-24 that gives new hope to those who find themselves homeless at a vulnerable age, helping them steer away from a life of trouble. Among them is Ryan, who after a falling out with his parents ended up without a home aged just 16.
“It’s a very supportive environment; it’s helped to keep me out of trouble,” says Ryan who has now clocked up a series of achievements and plans to join the Army.
bricks and eggs at the house, tried to force their way inside,” he says. “The last straw was when a brick came through the window, in a room in which my granddaughter was sitting.
“If it hadn’t have been for this place, I would have ended up drifting, getting in with bad sorts, getting into drugs or who knows what.”
“I went after them on my mobility scooter, waving my walking stick at them.”
Plus Dane also works with those accused of anti-social behaviour, supporting them as they change their ways. Charles Clarke of Walton, Liverpool, is one person who went through this process, going from being a victim of trouble to being seen as an aggressor. Charles, 49, found out his son – also called Charles - had fallen in with a gang, who were exploiting the teenager’s special needs. Despite being disabled himself, Charles decided to confront them. “I dragged him away from them and they didn’t like it, they started throwing
A neighbour saw Charles and reported him to the authorities, leading to a situation where he faced the prospect of an anti-social behaviour order and the threat of losing his tenancy. “I never found out who reported me but I’d like to thank them for all the good things that have happened since,” says Charles who has been married to Claire, 45, for 21 years and has two other sons. “A housing officer from Plus Dane came to see me. I told him the full story and got all the help and support I needed.
“They also realised my old house wasn’t suitable and helped me move to a nice, two-bedroom bungalow in an area with great community spirit.” Charles’ son is now out of the gangs and is being helped to find accommodation with Plus Dane who will support his special needs. Charles - along with other tenants in a similar position - helped set up a focus group with Plus Dane’s assistance, warning people of the dangers of retaliation to anti-social behaviour and positive ways to resolve conflicts. “Despite my disability, I’m a tough and independent character and can live with getting picked on,” he adds. “Others aren’t so lucky, so it’s great Plus Dane is helping through work like this.”
It’s a very supportive environment; it’s helped to keep me out of trouble. 17 16
our Ni promise
further supporting the vulnerable
Rachel Malcolm Heath View extra care scheme resident and retired nurse
Newly opened Heath View extra Arnold Tasker chats with neighbours
care scheme in Congleton
Heath View is officially opened
You may have an image in your mind of what housing for older people is like: Heath View would change it. The £5.9 million extra care scheme for retired people in Congleton opened in March and is setting the standard for future schemes to be judged by. Visitors gasp at the high standard of accommodation and the range of facilities. Typically people joke that they want to move in straight away.
But what about the people who live there now? Among them is Rachel Malcolm, 85, who arrived a couple of months ago. Rachel, a former nurse, was living alone, but after cracking her spine in a fall came to stay with her daughter in Congleton. Determined not to be a burden on the family, Rachel was referred to Heath View and says now: “I’ve never had it so good.”
“I’m so very happy here,” she adds. “Everyone is so nice and it’s a lovely place. There’s always something on to do, I have a lovely apartment and view over the fields where boys play football and cricket. “The staff here can’t do enough for you, I really feel so lucky to have a place like this to live out the rest of my life.”
Rachel has settled in well and speaks movingly about how lonely and isolated she felt in her old home. She still misses her husband, Joseph, who died 18 years ago - on the day the two of them had paid for a dream holiday in Portugal – as well as her nine brothers and sisters who have all now died. She’s a mine of funny stories, which she enjoys sharing with other residents. Among them is Heath View’s joker-in-the-pack, Arnold Tasker, 79.
“Heath View is like a five-star hotel. Being here makes me very happy and I feel very lucky because they have thought of everything that an elderly person needs. You can’t fault Plus Dane, they’ve done everything for us.” Among the facilities on offer is 24-hour care, a bistro, TV lounges, games rooms, internet suite, hair salon, laundry, health and well being suite, keep fit classes, arts and crafts days, landscaped gardens and much more. There are 45 one-and-two bedroomed apartments with a full range of support services that allow people to access care and help to maintain their independence and choice and continue to play an active role in the community.
Arnold lived in the former St Mary’s home for the elderly that was knocked down and replaced by Heath View. He was one of the first to move in and, as he sits in his luxury two-bedroom apartment looking out over his balcony, is fulsome in his praise.
Arnold is in no doubt that something special has been created.
“There was a lot of things wrong with St Mary’s,” says the former milkman and chemicals worker. “It was very run down, there were swarms of ants in the summer and very little space.
“Coming here has given me a new lease of life,” he says with a broad smile. “I lost my wife, then a long-term partner. I thought I was going mad at one point I was talking to the walls.
“Here I’ve made so many friends, I love to laugh and tell jokes and everyone is so friendly and gets on so well.” The project, which received a £1.7 million grant from the Homes and Community Agency, was led by the Plus Dane Group. Construction was carried out in partnership with J&S Seddon (Building) Ltd. Residents were fully involved in consultations about the design of the building and the facilities on offer, making sure the finished product was exactly what they wanted. “It’s an amazing place, you only have to look round it,” Arnold adds. “All homes for the elderly should be like this one.”
Coming here has given me a new lease of life. 21 20
our Ni promise
further supporting resident involvement
Des Finley Plus Dane Group resident and volunteer for the tenantsâ€™ repairs and maintenance committee
Volunteer, Lillian Hazel visiting a call centre
“You don’t often have the responsibility of deciding people’s jobs and lives, it was only after it was all over that we reflected on the enormity of it. But I feel we did the best for our fellow tenants - they were the only people we had in mind.” So says Lillian Hazel, 67, of Sandbach, one of 12 Plus Dane tenants who as a team awarded a £32 million repairs, gas and maintenance service contract for 7,000 properties in Liverpool.
Volunteers from the tenants’ repairs and maintenance committee
Supporting resident involvement is at the heart of what Plus Dane does. Everything from the content of our residents’ magazine to major procurement projects comes out of engagement with the people we serve. However, the case of the mobilisation project was unique.
Shaf Chouderey, committee chair
The contract for the repair and maintenance of Plus Dane’s properties on Merseyside was up for renewal. Previously the work had been done by a range of local firms, who bid alongside other companies for the future business.
After listening to the views of tenants, Plus Dane decided that the best people to decide who should provide property services for tenants were the tenants themselves. Twelve volunteers from the tenants’ repairs and maintenance committee gave up 250 days of their time to read the 11 shortlisted tenders, interview the competing teams, visit work sites and call centres and speak to existing customers of those firms. It was quite a surprise for many of the bidders who found their carefully put-together presentations picked over by people with a passionate stake in getting to the truth. “Sometimes I could be quite aggressive in my questions, especially if I thought people were trying to hide things,” says Des Finley, 68, of Liverpool. “Picking the best team had nothing to do with the monetary side of things – it was who offered the best service. “Tenants want to know that if someone comes to their home they are going to do a good job, to have the tools to do the job
quickly and do a quality job, they have to have confidence that workers will respect their homes. “I feel privileged that as a tenant I was asked to take part in the selection process. We got to pick the right team to carry out the repairs to our homes - it was vital that our voices were heard.” After the exhaustive process was over, the 12 were unanimous in awarding the contract to Plus Dane’s existing inhouse trades team in Cheshire, which currently enjoys a 98% satisfaction rate among tenants in the county. A new Plus Dane trades team has been formed in Liverpool and tenants are already noticing the difference.
Dolores Martin, 71, of Liverpool 7, needed extensive work doing to her plumbing system. She said: “Two very nice men came to do my repairs, they were both extremely pleasant, hard working, helpful and kept me informed each step of the way on what they were doing. “They completed the job very quickly and left the place perfectly clean. I am 80% disabled and can feel very vulnerable but they made me feel at ease and gave an excellent service.” The deal safeguards more than 60 jobs and 11 apprentice roles. Many of the private contractors, who previously worked on Plus Dane’s Merseyside properties, have been given jobs in and
training to deliver Plus Dane’s promises of quality, value for money and great customer service. Two local companies - Smiths SD and Penny Lane Builders - have also been allocated work. Carefully selected firms - KHT Services and Kier Support Services - will provide extra cover. The deal also had the added bonus of saving Plus Dane more than £500,000 in VAT with efficiency savings on top of that of £150,000. This is money which can be used to further increase investment in the neighbourhoods we serve.
I feel privileged that as a tenant I was asked to take part in the selection process. We got to pick the right team to carry out the repairs to our homes - it was vital that our voices were heard. 25 24
our Ni promise
increased creation of local jobs
Philip Fitzgibbon Plasterer, Plus Dane Group in-house trades team
Plus Dane Group in-house trades team at work
INES Future Jobs Fund staff at work
Think of the recession. Think of the men and women, the families affected by loss of work. Think of the money involved, the stress of making ends meet. The human cost. In a time of economic austerity, when nothing is certain, Plus Dane has been one of the few businesses offering hope. A new deal to create an in-house trades team for Merseyside safeguarded 60 jobs and created 11 apprentice roles.
It was people like Philip Fitzgibbon, 28, who benefitted.
helped create local jobs for local people at just the right time.
“My previous job was coming to an end and my girlfriend was pregnant,” he says. “I faced the prospect of being a new father and on the dole.”
INES, a thriving social enterprise, was originally set up and supported by a Neighbourhood Renewal Fund grant and considerable support from Liverpool City Council to create work for long-term unemployed people, those with vulnerabilities and ex offenders.
Philip, a plasterer, was just one of the dozens of local people offered work on the new Merseyside trades team. “Everywhere else seems to be laying off but Plus Dane have been taking on at the right time. Getting a secure job took a huge weight off my shoulders,” he says. Another success story is Plus Dane’s IN Environmental Services (INES) Team. Our work with the Future Jobs Fund and other partner organisations has
Based in Toxteth, an area of Liverpool with high levels of unemployment and barriers to work, they specialise in cleaning up neighbourhoods and turning eyesores into places of community pride. Part of their work involves volunteering their services to improve the local environment, everything from cleaning up school grounds to providing free
hanging baskets for everyone who wants them.
give them a chance, help them, mould them.
Working with the Future Jobs Fund, the probation service and other partners like Liverpool City Council, they offer a lifeline to those who have lost hope.
“In three months people can go from an undesirable member of the community to a desirable one. They turn their lives round.”
“Our ethic is to try to get socially excluded people into work,” explains Head of Environmental Services, Joe Feeley. “A lot of people come to us, they can’t read or write, they’ve got on the wrong side of the law for mistakes that young lads sometimes make, they may have a disability or come from a family where there have been generations of unemployment. “They come into interviews with their eyes down, chins in their chests, no expectation that they’ll get the job. It’s up to us to draw these people out,
One person who went through the process is James Brown, 25. Jobless for over a year, the father of two finally managed to get back into employment through the Future Jobs Fund and INES. “INES likes to employ local lads and I lived just round the corner,” says James, who has been working as an environmental ranger on gardens and landscapes. “They do a lot of work in this area, doing good jobs to make it a better place, so I was made up.
what they used to be, we can really say we’ve improved things, really made a difference.” James, who is a big Liverpool FC supporter and enjoys spending time playing football with his children, has picked up lots of new skills while on the INES placement and is looking for work in the garden maintenance/environment trade. One job that James is particularly proud of is the work the INES team did on the Greenhouse Project, a multi-culture play and arts scheme based in Lodge Lane. “The area was getting a bit run down so it gave me a lot of satisfaction to see it given a new start, to see the kids playing there,” he adds.
“If you look at some of the places we’ve worked on and think back to
Our ethic is to try and get socially excluded people into work.
our Ni promise
increased supply and choice of homes
Philip Brown Shared ownership home owner and full time Security Specialist
Philip Brown settles into his new home in Ellesmere Port
Geoff Scotton and his son Alex at their Netherton Home
Customers attend a Plus Dane Group Home Buyer Roadshow
When love goes wrong, nothing goes right.
owned with his ex partner and move back in with his parents.
Relationships break down every day for all sorts of reasons, but while the pain of separation is often hard to deal with, the small matter of homelessness can be a bitter pill to swallow too.
“It was not ideal but the only option,” he says. “I wanted to own a home but the housing market was going bananas and there was no way I could afford to buy.”
Many people find themselves in a vulnerable position when they split with a partner. Finances can be a major worry, with private rents and property prices beyond the reach of most single people, especially when children are involved.
As time went on Philip was beginning to think he’d never find the home he dreamed of until he came across the www.homeshub.co.uk website and read about our shared ownership offers.
Plus Dane has been increasing the supply and choice of homes to deal with lifestyle changes just like these. Two men – Philip Brown and Geoff Scotton – are among those benefitting.
The scheme allows people to buy a share of between 25%-75% to move in. Customers typically lay down a smaller deposit than normal and pay a reduced rent on the remaining share, which is owned by a housing association.
28-year-old security specialist Philip Brown was left feeling decidedly insecure when a long-term relationship broke down six years ago and he was forced to give up the home he
You can buy more shares as you can afford them and eventually own the whole property if you want to. You are also free to sell the share on the open market if you want to move on.
It suited Philip perfectly and he was able to buy a newly built home on the Great Hall development off Cambridge Road in Ellesmere Port. “I decided to sell my car and take the plunge,” he says. “Without this help I wouldn’t be able to get on the property ladder. “It was a great feeling to get the keys and step through the door of my own home again after having to live with my parents for so long. “I finally feel as if I’m back on track.”
reach – and his beaming smile shows how happy he is with the choice he made.
gardener who now helps find work for jobless locals, talks of the positive change to his life.
Geoff, 40, is one of Plus Dane Group’s Rent-to-HomeBuy customers, people who want to own their own property but need time to save and plan.
“I was going through a marriage separation and had to find a new place,” he says. “I’d come from a life where I had a nice house, a garden - a lovely home. All of a sudden I was looking at grotty bedsits because I couldn’t afford to buy a home.
For his two-bedroom home in Hereford Drive, Netherton, he has the option of paying rent - at around 20% less than the going market rate – for five years while he decides whether buying is right for him.
Geoff Scotton is someone else who feels he has his life back under control.
But for Geoff – who shares his home with his son Alex, 18 – the decision will be an easy one.
After a divorce and the financial fallout that followed, Geoff walked into a home he had thought beyond his
As he shows you around his immaculate home, the former
“If it wasn’t for HomesHub, I don’t know what I’d have done. Being here is the best therapy I could have wished for.”
It was a great feeling to get the keys and step through the door of my own home again after having to live with my parents for so long. 33
HomesHub customer David Wright moves into his new home in Macclesfield
how do we measure up? In the first full year of trading, the financial performance of the group has exceeded expectations as a whole as efficiencies continue to be driven throughout the business and opportunities for growth have been realised.
The results are welcomed with some caution as the economic climate will continue to present challenges during the coming year. However the results provide a strong platform on which to build future provision.
Plus Dane Group - Neighbourhood investor Units owned
Managed by others
Plus Dane Group: 2008|11 Development Programme and Pipeline (as at end of March 2010) RSL/Local Authority
Total Scheme Cost
Cheshire West & Chester
to be confirmed
*CME: Continuous Market Engagement (all areas)
If you would like more financial information about Plus Dane Group please contact Peter Shaw, Managing Director - Finance t: 01260 288 257 | 0151 708 4600 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Demolition of the existing Village Square, Castlefields - making way for an ÂŁ11m mixed-use development managed by Plus Dane Group
Plus Dane Group is a lead partner in Plus Harvest Developments (PHD). PHD is a major partnership of 23 developing housing associations. Established in 2005, PHD has since invested in excess of £260m, securing over £100m grant to widen the supply and choice of homes across the North West. Members share expertise and drive innovation to create high quality, sustainable homes and enhance neighbourhoods to create great places to live. By working in partnership, PHD has created nearly 2,500 affordable new homes across the full range of
tenures. A lead partner with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), PHD’s affordable housing allocation for the period 2008-2011 is in the top ten nationally. This year, PHD announced its best ever performance figures. The partnership has been ranked top quartile nationally by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) on every measure, exceeded all its targets by considerable margins ranging from 119% to 283% - and increased its grant allocation from £19.6m to £35.7m this year. For more information, please visit www.phdevelopments.org.uk
PHD 2009|10 Programme Units
Total Scheme Cost
PHD 2008|11 Programme as at 31 March 2010 Units
Total Scheme Cost
looking to the future Plus Dane Group Deputy Chairman, Richard Kemp (left) chatting with a staff member
Whenever we see the opportunity to do something new in Plus Dane we always ask ourselves one question above all others: “Will this make a real and positive difference for the people that we serve?” Of course questions about delivery, money and staffing are important but they must be secondary to the long-term task of helping people live better lives. It is now two years since we decided to become a Neighbourhood investor and not just a housing association. The stories in this report show what a difference we make. Being a Neighbourhood investor is all about using our assets as a housing provider to make as much of a contribution to the equality of life of the people we serve as possible. We do that neighbourhood by neighbourhood as we recognise the uniqueness of every area. Now the concept of localism that we have been practising for many years is on the lips of all three major political parties.
For too long Whitehall warriors have decided what needs to be done in communities not the people who live in them. Only by doing things from the bottom up can we provide the services that people really need and, of vital importance in troubled financial times, at a price that can be afforded. In the areas in which we work we have helped residents develop neighbourhood plans which involve all public sector providers working together. Our success in these areas has led to Councils asking for our help in developing strategies by which they can engage partners across the whole of their council area. This concept is linked to a wider strategy called place based budgeting which local government has suggested to central government is a major way to cut out waste. Ministers visit us to see how it can be done. The people whose stories we tell here are the reasons that we bother. Our tenants are our friends. Whatever we can do to help them – we will. If other people can help our tenants – we invite them in. Our tenants have challenged us in so many ways to help them and we do so willingly. In our turn we continue to challenge ourselves and all those we work with to work better together to deliver what our tenants need. We face the future with confidence because what is needed now is what we have always done. We listen, we engage, we deliver. I look forward to another successful year of listening, engaging and delivering for the people we serve. Richard Kemp Deputy Chairman
We listen, we engage, we deliver.
Alsager Neighbourhood Housing officer Linda Doukanaris chats to a local resident
Plus Dane Group | Baltimore Buildings | 13-15 Rodney Street | Liverpool L1 9EF | t: 0151 708 0674 www.neighbourhoodinvestor.com Written & designed by Plus Dane Communications Team ÂŠ2010