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Our strategy 2013 to 2018

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Delivering excellent services and improving homes and neighbourhoods while adding value to residents and the city

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Our strategy 2013 to 2018

Our strategy 2013 to 2018 Foreword from the Chair and Chief Executive

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Our vision, values, mission and aims

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Challenges and opportunities

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Our priorities:

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Making a difference together

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Improving services

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Better homes and neighbourhoods

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Every pound must count

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Performance actions and measures 2013 to 2014

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Performance priorities 2013 to 2014

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Foreword from the Chair and Chief Executive This plan sets out our strategic direction and priorities for the next five years. It provides a framework to make sure that we focus our efforts and resources on those activities that will positively affect the lives of residents and the neighbourhoods of Newport. We are committed to using our strengths to deliver: • better homes; • better services; • better neighbourhoods; and • a better Newport. These changes will be part of our core aims to: • deliver excellent services; • improve homes and neighbourhoods; and • add value to residents and the city (see page 4). To achieve our vision, mission and values, and to continue to improve and add value, we have put in place a performance management framework. This framework will focus on our annual performance priorities, and each year we will aim to make sure these match those of our residents’ representative body, the CityWide Panel.

This plan is ambitious and in it we want to include the aims of our Board and residents. Residents and our dedicated staff teams are at the centre of all our activities, which in turn are supported by our core values. Also, we recognise that to be successful we cannot work alone, so we are committed to working with our local, regional and national partners for the benefit of the neighbourhoods where we aim to make a difference. Our performance framework, service delivery priorities and other key documents set out what we will do to deliver innovative, fair, value-formoney services and improvements that consistently meet or go beyond residents’ expectations.

Chris England Board Chair

Peter Cahill Chief Executive

In delivering these priorities we will continue to listen to residents and our partners, learn from that feedback and improve our services.

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Our vision, values, mission and aims Our vision Our ambition is to deliver an excellent service and give everyone the opportunity to transform the quality of their homes, communities and lives. We want to encourage residents to get involved with us and create a confident, dynamic organisation that listens, learns and continues to improve. Our mission We have a passion for providing quality homes and services by investing in people, places and partnerships. Our values We pride ourselves on being FIRST for people, places and partnerships. Fair in our policies and practices as a landlord and as an employer, recognising the efforts and contribution of our people. Innovative working to continuously improve, welcome change and try our best to find great solutions that turn our vision into reality. Respectful of the value and worth of each person, and aim to include everyone in all our activities. Sincere open and transparent, we value, trust and want the views of others, and respond appropriately to residents and employees. Trustworthy being accountable and responsible for our words and actions, living by our values and delivering our vision. Our aims We aim to make sure people live in places that meet their needs and expectations by delivering quality services and working effectively with our partners. We will focus on: • putting residents at the heart of everything we do; • high-quality homes and services; • service outcomes; • effective partnerships; • being accountable for what we do; • looking after our resources and managing risks; • regenerating neighbourhoods and the environment alongside improving homes; • long-term solutions; and • investing in people, places and partnerships.

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Challenges and opportunities

We are working in challenging times with economic decline set alongside Welsh and Westminster government reforms that will reshape the housing landscape. The key challenges are; • Welfare reform (for example, the introduction of ‘bedroom tax’ and Universal Credit). • Changes in the housing market with a decline in home ownership as it becomes more difficult to get a mortgage and the average house price to earnings ratio remains high. • Lack of housing set against increased demand for affordable rented homes. • Increased need for care and support to help an ageing population to live independently. • High rates of unemployment and economic inactivity. • Reduction in grants and subsidies as money-saving measures take effect. • Pressure on public services which residents rely on. • Poor standards of quality and management in the private rented sector. All these challenges will greatly affect residents and the increasing number of households who want our help. These challenges give us the opportunity to use our resources (people and finances) in the best way. There will be a healthy, ongoing demand for our homes and services at the high standards we are aiming to achieve. We need to make sure we keep our reputation and ‘can do’ approach and so attract support from residents and partners. We are the largest provider of affordable housing in Newport. Once we achieve our priority of bringing homes up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard we aim to play a major role in providing new homes across the city. Our strong presence means we will be able to enter into productive partnerships that will result in a range of activities and growth. We will continue to work with our social care and health partners to support residents to live independently. We will develop new services which will help us to be seen as the partner of choice. We will aim to make sure all our activities are contributing to the local authority’s Single Integrated Plan and the priorities of jobs and skills, economic opportunity, health and well-being, and vibrant and safe places. Despite the challenges listed above we are a dynamic and confident organisation that will not only survive but thrive. We have the people and resources to deal with the challenges and make the most of opportunities.

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Our priorities

We are passionate about becoming the housing provider of choice in Newport, where our services are high-quality, visible, local and accessible. It is important that we develop and deliver an efficient, caring and consistent service across the city, reflecting local priorities that match residents’ different needs and expectations. We want to be an excellent organisation, and aim to continuously improve and add value to our services. We add value through new investment and services which in turn has an effect on jobs, training opportunities and the local economy. Our priorities emphasise the importance of good governance (putting in place proper arrangements for overseeing what we do), a high-quality service and sound financial ‘caretaking’. We must listen, learn and improve if we are to meet, or go beyond, the expectations of residents and our partners.

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Our priorities

Making a difference together

We have established a clear set of priorities for the period ahead. We are committed to working in partnership with residents and staff to make a difference when providing homes and services. The strength of our Board comes from the range of skills, knowledge and experience it can contribute when setting out a clear strategic vision and the priorities that will support it. Working with the CityWide Panel will shape the way in which our Board governs. The interests of residents will be at the heart of our governance and decision-making. We will support the wide range of resident groups that work with us to influence and shape how our services are designed and delivered. We will continually assess our performance and be accountable to residents, partners and our regulator, the Welsh Government, in an honest and straightforward way. Our Board will make sure it follows good practice on overseeing what we do and that it has the skills and knowledge to manage risk and deliver its vision. It will oversee how services are performing and whether they are improving, and allocate resources to meet agreed priorities. The measures and targets that have been set are ones that the Board and CityWide Panel agree are the most important in terms of outcomes for residents and for our success. The Board recognises how important it is to develop the CityWide Panel as a ‘critical friend’ and encourage residents to challenge and review our core services. Putting residents at the heart of our organisation will be reflected in the Board and CityWide Panel working together, and in encouraging and supporting share members. Individuals apply for share membership of the association. If approved for membership, they can, for example, attend our annual general meeting and vote on Board elections, the appointment of auditors and so on. While the number of share members has increased significantly, their role and contribution to the organisation needs further work to reinforce our accountability and openness.

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Our priorities

Making a difference together

Being an excellent provider, employer and partner is at the centre of our governance. As an employer we want to support our staff in delivering improved services. We will value and reward our staff so that we have the right people with the right skills, knowledge and attitudes to deliver excellent customer service. We want to make sure that investing in, and supporting, our staff establishes a culture that delivers excellent outcomes for residents and our partners. We recognise we must do more to improve long-term sickness absence and make sure our workforce more accurately represents the local population. It is important that we complete the comprehensive improvement plan to show we have established good practice on excellent governance. Completing this plan will also aid a review by the Board to make sure the skills and knowledge needed to support effective governance are there and will continue. The right governance is necessary to manage the risks in achieving our vision. Our strategy for 2013 to 2018 will be vital in making sure this approach is supported by a strong performance management framework and making it clear where we allocate resources for dealing with agreed priorities.

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Our priorities Improving services

Our overall aim is to provide integrated services to residents. Residents’ demands have shown us the importance of a ‘one team, one service’ approach. Welfare reform will have a significant effect on residents and our ability to recover income from rent to meet our financial responsibilities. We will have to adapt how we deliver our main housing service alongside our partners. We must focus resources invested in neighbourhoods, financial inclusion (many of our residents do not have access to conventional financial services and debt advice), community safety and tenancy support teams on providing the best possible service and to make sure tenants stay in their homes. It will be just as important to work with our local authority, housing association and voluntary sector partners to manage the changes ahead and reduce the effect on residents and the neighbourhoods where we work. The introduction of ‘bedroom tax’ for underoccupied properties will be a real challenge for our ability to offer alternative smaller accommodation. Successfully managing the Common Housing Register with our partners, will be vital in allowing fair access to housing and helping us to meet housing need and let homes effectively. We will develop and support residents’ reviews of our services and use feedback to continuously improve the services we offer. This is consistent with our commitment to listen, learn and improve. We must be able to demonstrate clear outcomes from involving residents and make sure this is established throughout the organisation. Demonstrating these outcomes is equally important across all services if our performance management and improvement framework is to be fully effective. Information from resident insight and satisfaction surveys will be crucial in helping to shape and improve services. Improving services to homeowners, while making sure we recover costs on investment and management, is an ongoing priority. We will continue to look for social-enterprise opportunities (for example, environmental work) in support of local employment and training initiatives. Working with our health and social care partners in helping older and vulnerable residents to live more independently will continue to be important. Integrating our services for older people, such as sheltered housing, telecare (for example emergency call lines and fall monitors) and adaptations are also important aims. The challenge of an ageing society and the health and mobility concerns of our residents will also affect this.

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Our priorities

Better homes and neighbourhoods

Improving resident outcomes from the investment programme on key indicators (measures of progress) such as quality, the time taken for contractors to complete work, and communication, will be an ongoing priority. While we have focused so far on internal improvements, we will enter into building contracts for external and environmental work from 2013 onwards. This will help us to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by the end of 2015. From all contracts and investment we will continue to seek the most positive outcomes in terms of local jobs, training opportunities and community benefits. We need to continue with clear proposals for areas or projects which need more in-depth regeneration, in line with residents’ priorities and available resources. Similarly, using spare land effectively will help us to develop and contribute to meeting housing need in the city. In doing so, it will be important that the pace at which we work and the strengths and resources of the organisation and our partners are matched to deliver effective long-term solutions. Our aim must be to get the service right first time and to meet residents’ expectations. To do this we will have to further improve processes and systems so that they are more efficient and effective and provide excellent services for residents. We will continue to add to caretaking, estates and home-assistance services while setting and collecting appropriate service charges. Once we have achieved the WHQS environmental standard we will have appropriate internal and external resources available to maintain it. We will take a strategic approach when making future investment decisions to help us decide how to allocate resources to agreed priorities, including making sure all of our homes are occupied.

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Our priorities

Every pound must count

We are committed to making sure we use our financial strength to improve outcomes for residents in terms of quality homes and services, the environment, skills and jobs. We have a fully funded plan in place to help us deliver priorities on improvements, regeneration, growth and services. Putting in place the new rent framework set by Welsh Government, while maintaining our financial strength, will be an important task over the next five years. Equally, completing the service charge review for general needs housing so that it is fair, recovers costs and is accountable to residents, will be a priority. We need to have a strong base from which to compare our performance with other providers so residents have information available to judge the quality and cost of our services. We will continue to support managers to develop and change services while managing budgets effectively. Information services must continue to help develop and improve services while showing that savings can be made from investing in new technology. The current economic climate means we need to show that we are efficient and use resources wisely to achieve our vision and make a difference. Our financial strength and potential for the future will help us to achieve the ambitions we have set ourselves. We have an obligation to residents and our partners to make sure every pound counts.

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Performance actions and measures 2013 to 2014

We will set annual performance priorities (APP), which will contain measures that will help us to understand our overall performance and the actions we must take to meet our priorities. Actions Find homes

Manage tenancies

Maintain homes

Support communities

“Find the right homes to meet the needs of new and existing residents.”

“Make sure our residents keep their tenancies for as long as they need them.”

“Maintain properties and their surroundings to the right level of quality, and fix repairs first time, on time.”

“Help create and support safe and vibrant communities”

Business support

“Support service delivery and improvement”

The table below shows the measures that will help us and others to assess how we are performing. Measures Find homes

Manage tenancies

Maintain homes

Homes occupied

More than 98%

Customer enquiries dealt with first time

More than 80%

Repairs right first time

More than 85%

Turnover rate

7.5%

Satisfaction with overall service

More than 85%

Repair times (from being reported to being carried out)

More than 90%

Rent arrears

6%

Satisfaction More with reported than repairs 85%

Average time 18 taken to days re-let homes

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Support communities Satisfaction with neighbourhood as a place to live

More than 85%

Business support Loan covenant terms met

All

Staff sickness absence

5.5%

Staff turnover 5%

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Performance priorities 2013 to 2014

We intend to do the following in the year ahead. Find homes Keep as many of our homes occupied as possible: reduce turnover and the length of time properties are empty for. Increase supply: understand future demand when providing new housing.

Maintain homes Increase satisfaction with the reported repairs service: meet the demand for repairs and the expectations of residents. Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS): increase satisfaction with improvement work to meet residents’ expectations. Manage tenancies Welfare reform: identify those residents most at risk from welfare reform and reduce, as far as possible, its impact. Support communities Older people’s housing: provide an integrated older people’s housing service, taking into account individual preferences

Business support Service charges: collect as much income as we can, get value for money from existing or new service charges and be fully accountable to residents.

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Newport City Homes Housing Association Limited is registered by the Financial Services Authority as an Industrial and Provident Society with charitable rules. Registration No 30192R and with the Welsh Government Registration No L149.


Newport City Homes Strategy Report