Soha Housing – Annual Report

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New Starts Annual Report 2017/18

New starts Moving has helped re-start my life Kerri, East Hagbourne

My new garden flat has transformed my life. I am epileptic and our previous home, a third-floor flat, wasn’t suitable. It made going out difficult and had a negative impact on the family’s well-being. I was put in touch with Soha and got the help I needed. The Tenancy Support Officer was so helpful. Moving has helped re-start my life: I’ve got a new job, feel healthier and my son is doing better at school.

This year ‘The First Step Forward Learning Hub’ at Cholsey Pavilion has flourished. We provide communitybased adult education and support residents to empower themselves through improving self-confidence, mental health and well-being. As a Cholsey Community Champion I’ve helped others towards a positive chapter in their lives. I have only been able to do this after getting support myself. I am proud to make a difference: a community working together is so powerful.

Now I am proud to be making a difference Poppy, Cholsey

It was amazing when my partner Becky and I picked up the keys to our first home together this year. We didn’t think it would be possible due to high house prices. But thankfully our dream came true via shared ownership.

Shared ownership has completely changed our lives Oliver, Great Western Park

I’m a Maths teacher and Becky is studying. Now we have the space to work at home and peace of mind. Shared ownership has completely changed our lives and given us a fantastic opportunity.

Read all our stories at

It’s been a rewarding experience Barry, Wheatley

Volunteering has given me a new lease of life. I really enjoy giving something back and sharing my knowledge. This year I’ve developed my Digital Champion role and taught fellow residents how to use tablets. In some cases, it has enabled people to create CVs and apply for jobs. It’s been a rewarding experience. Our social events are great fun and I’ve made new friends too.

I joined the Soha membership committee because I believe in the opportunity Soha has given residents to make a difference. Shareholder tenants have a say in decisions that can improve our community. Soha not only helped me find a home, it gave me chances to give something back to the community. It is a new start and it is empowering to feel valued.

It is a new start and it is empowering to feel valued Victoria, Henley-on-Thames

My wife Gwennyth and I have enjoyed continued independence via Soha’s Extra Care housing package. Gwennyth is registered blind and having access to care in our own home is invaluable.

We can live our lives to the full Ashley

Private care is expensive and Soha provided an attractive, desirable alternative. We’ve enjoyed a great sense of community here. We can live our lives to the full.

A message from

Kate Wareing, Soha’s new Chief Executive

It gives me great pleasure to present our 2017/18 annual report to you, and to introduce myself to you as Soha’s new Chief Executive.

March 20

Economic Standards ✓ Value for money We are a high performing provider of homes with lower running costs than most other housing associations. The number of homes Soha provides puts us amongst the top developing associations in the upper quartile (Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Global Accounts 2017).

✓ Rent

This has also been the year in which we established Soha as a mutual association and opened up shareholding membership to our residents. This gives our residents a clear legal role in taking the biggest decisions that affect Soha, and means our Board are now clearly accountable to our new shareholding members. This builds on our long history of involving residents in all aspects of Soha’s work, helping us deliver excellent services for residents and ensuring we are truly embedded in the communities we exist to serve.

We remain an association that knows our business is not just about houses: it is about people, homes and communities. I look forward to working with you over the next year to continue the excellent work that Soha is known for, and build our collective vision for our future as an excellent community led housing association.


In line with all housing associations, Soha must meet Social Housing (RSH) previously known as the Homes deliver these achievements.

2017/18 has been an important and successful year for Soha. We have remained a high performing, financially secure landlord. 91% of our residents say they are satisfied with our services and our staff report that they are proud to work for Soha. Rental income for 2017/18 was over £37m, producing a surplus of over £10m after costs. We’ve continued to invest our surplus in building new homes and have constructed 121 properties for rent and 64 properties for shared ownership during 2017/18.

I am honoured to be joining Soha at this stage. Our new mutual model, solid performance and healthy operating surplus provide us with exciting opportunities to engage with our members and community stakeholders to deliver our existing corporate plan, and to think about how Soha makes the biggest contribution possible to meeting housing need and building strong communities in the areas we serve.

Meeting the

We comply with the Regulator’s standard for rent calculation.

✓ Financial viability and governance We are an efficient business (Regulator analysis of cost per unit). Soha received the top ratings of G1 for governance (meaning we are well-managed) and V1 for finance (meaning we are financially sound).

Want to contact us?

0800 014 15 45 (Freephone) Soha Housing, Royal Scot House, 99 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NN

Win £100! Take part in the prize draw survey inserted into this Report and send it back Freepost or complete the online form at



standards set by the government’s Regulator of s and Communities Agency. We invest in our staff to

Value for


Soha Housing doesn’t make a profit – all our income is spent on maintaining your home, building new homes and investing in your communities.

Consumer Standards ✓ Home Over 90% of tenants say their home is good quality and 82% are satisfied with our repairs service. Repairs are carried out more quickly than last year at an average of 7.7 days and most are completed first time. 91% of residents say they are satisfied overall with Soha as a landlord. We are Customer Service Excellence accredited.

..which pays for £16.7m of maintenance and improvements to tenants’ homes... We also spent £5.5m on other costs including staff. Most of Soha’s income is from rent set using a government formula...

We sold 6 higher priced properties. 31 households bought a larger share in their home and, together with 40 new shared ownership homes, this brought in a total of £4.7m.

Soha’s income (excluding property sales) 2017/18 was £37.7m.

✓ Tenant involvement and empowerment An independent report states that Soha’s involvement with tenants is exceptionally good. We aim to keep encouraging tenants to make more use of our online services. During 2017/18 we became a mutual organisation with tenants having the opportunity to become shareholders for the first time.

..and alongside the sale of some properties... provide new homes for people who need them at a cost to us of £28.6m. We provided 185 new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership. That represents a 2.8% increase.

..after interest payments and revaluation adjustments leaves a surplus of £10.6m. We use this along with current levels of available funds...

✓ Neighbourhood and community 91% of tenants are happy with their neighbourhood. 87% of tenants affected by neighbour issues are satisfied with how we handled their case. We take pride in our communities.

✓ Tenancy Rent arrears are low at just 2.5% and we continue to offer support to those affected by benefit changes. We aim to let homes quickly and fairly, mainly through choice based lettings and the average time for a new tenant to move into a property is down to 22 days.

What you think about our


We listen to you. Your views are the measures that matter the most. This is what you say:



of tenants are satisfied overall with our service



of tenants are satisfied with our repairs service



of tenants are satisfied that Soha rents offer value for money



of tenants are satisfied that we listen to, and act on, their views

Resident satisfaction


year in numbers

87% 91% 90% 91% 79%


Number of homes




Total number of homes



new homes added in 2017/18


total lettings

of our homes meet the Decent Homes Standard


mutual exchanges


shared ownerships sold

514 8 2 1 99% 87%

households involved in the running of our business.

Repairs Number of repairs


98,969 5,951 630 40,500 53.93%

calls received


(June 2017 to March 2018)

website visitors

7.7 days


Repairs fixed on first visit

of tenants are satisfied with our repairs service



on a mobile or tablet

The website includes information about our services and you can also use it to advise us about repairs. An app is about to be launched which will enable you to do more on the move.

Planned maintenance (existing homes)

151 481 164 kitchens

windows and doors


satisfied with the quality of their home satisfied with Soha’s overall service satisfied that we listen to their views

anti-social behaviour cases notices served due to ASB court orders due to ASB

1,236 29 209 redecorations


heating systems

73 71 2

of ASB cases resolved of tenants are satisfied with how we handled their ASB case








So gr p



complaints received resolved at Stage 1*



Stage 1 means the start of the formal complaint process with a repsonse provided by a Senior Manager.

Evictions due to rent arrears


due to anti-social behaviour

Out & about







eviction due to ASB


emails received website chat conversations

satisfied with their neighbourhood

Note: The majority of ASB enquiries relate to noise.

at a cost of

Average time to complete a repair


satisfied with our lettings process

Anti-social behaviour



estate inspections (plus 390 in sheltered and Extra Care estates)


handypersons visits


Where the

Our residents

We have 6,721 households which include:





general needs rented



money goes 36,358 855

Total income



All other Soha running costs

10,021 6,724 5,533

9,631 4,504 5,966

Total Costs





Net interest payable on our loans

341 (9,828)

1,068 (9,529)

Surplus for the year



0 (2,123)

0 (2,002)



Costs The cost of repairing & maintaining homes *

supported and extra care

The cost of replacement fixtures & fittings in homes *

oha residents include plumbers, volunteers, builders, nurses, randparents, teaching assistants, carers, retired, community activists, parents, charity workers, teachers, accountants and many more!


As at March 2018

Surplus from selling shared ownership and other properties

Bedroom Tax households: 263 Universal Credit claimants: 298 Benefit Cap affected households: 53 We collected 99.1p of every £1 in rent

Gender %

60 Female


Other income

37,188 464

Income from all rents and service charges

shared ownership

market rented or unsold


2017 £’000




2018 £’000


18–34: 18%

Gains on revaluation




New loans taken out

Male 35-59: 46%

Existing loans repaid Money spent on build new homes and fixtures & fittings #

60+: 36% * #


Over 70% of our running costs are used to make sure existing homes are maintained. We re-invest 100% of our surplus to build new homes.

Remunerations White British 91.37% African 0.8% Asian – Other 0.65% Bangledeshi 0.24% Black – Other 0.15% Caribbean 0.26% Chinese 0.17% Indian 0.22% Irish 0.66% Mixed – Other 0.27%

White – Other 3.8% Other 0.15% Pakistani 0.14% White and Asian 0.15% White and Black African 0.17% White and Black Caribbean 0.51% Prefer not to say 0.27%

Board members with portfolios are paid for the roles they perform. In 2017/18 the Chair was paid £9,996 and an ordinary Board member £3,956.

The Chief Executive was paid £144,275 (including benefits in kind but excluding pension contributions).

How we’re


Residents are involved throughout the organisation. Soha has a transparent co-regulation model that encourages residents to play a key role in shaping Soha’s services and performance and ensure it remains accountable. The National Housing Federation (NHF), the umbrella body for housing associations, produces a Code of Governance which Soha has signed up to and complies with. More information on Soha’s governance structure can be found at

Find out more about becoming a member

Your say, your future Become a member We continue to put people at the heart of all we do. This year Soha became a mutualised organisation which means that tenants, shared owners and leaseholders can now apply to become members allowing them to take even more control of how Soha is run.

What membership means for you: Shape your future:

0800 014 15 45 (Freephone) Fill in the £100 prize draw survey form before 12 November for us to contact you

Other information We are sending this publication to you as part of our commitment to ensure all tenants are kept up to date with the governance and management of Soha Housing. You are sent an annual paper copy even if you have signed up for e-newsletters or have previously opted not to receive any publications at all. As a sustainable environment is extremely important to Soha, this publication is printed on recycled paper. To sign up for our e-newsletters or for electronic versions of our Hometalk residents’ magazine, go to Alternative formats of this publication are available on request. These can include large print, audio, alternative languages and electronic formats. Please contact us if this would be helpful.

Contact us Soha Housing, Royal Scot House, 99 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NN

• Have a say on priorities for your neighbourhood • Meet new and interesting people from your local community • Take ownership of Soha’s purpose and values • Have a vote on major organisational changes • Have a vote on appointing Board members • Have as much or as little involvement as you want Member-only benefits: • Exclusive membership offers, draws and events • Receive a welcome pack including membership card, pen and badge • Receive membership news Your commitment: • Members pay £1, which is the limit of your liability • Members must sign up to Soha’s purpose and values

01235 515 900 0800 014 15 45 (Freephone) | Soha Housing



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