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Annual Report 2011-12 GREAT Homes • GREAT Neighbourhoods • GREAT People


and the winner is... We are delighted to celebrate another great year of achievements by all at New Charter Housing Trust Group.

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Foreword In continued challenging times, we can stand proud that the Group is responding to social and economic challenges with key developments across our business this year. We are particularly pleased that one of our long standing partners, homelessness charity Threshold, decided to formally join the Group, bringing increased expertise and better business opportunities across Greater Manchester. As worklessness continues to be prominent in our communities, we have responded with initiatives such as our GREAT Opportunities programme and a new partnership with G4S; helping people back into employment. In this climate we remain focused on high levels of service delivery. We achieved our best ever results for customer satisfaction in our survey of tenants and residents across the Group. Our result recognises us as the best performing landlord of our size in the country. Our Building Company maintains its role as an integral part of our business, bringing in £7.2m of external business this year. Meanwhile, our new in-house grounds maintenance team, Green Charter, aims to

save us £1.2m over five years, whilst providing an improved service for residents. Gedling Homes is nearing completion of all investment promises, on time and on budget. We’ve expanded our educational ventures with the opening of the Academy’s new state-of-the-art campus which will house 1,350 students including a sixth form. We’re also now sponsoring the first primary Academy in Tameside called Silver Springs, which sits in the heart of one of our communities. We were delighted to secure significant backing from the Homes & Communities Agency and our funders to embark on a significant development programme which will provide more than 800 new homes. The approaching tsunami of Welfare Reform draws ever nearer, but we believe our strong financial position will help us to ride the storm. Our GREAT people are working hard to meet the challenges which lie ahead and our success in this year’s Sunday Times Best Companies awards endorses our confidence in them.

Ian Munro

Ged Cooney

Group Chief Executive

Chair, New Charter Housing Trust Limited

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Setting the scene This year, the Government announced some dramatic plans to change welfare benefits, posing a tremendous forthcoming challenge for housing providers. The main change is to Housing Benefit with tenants living in our homes set to have their benefits significantly reduced if they have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms. The Government is also looking to change the way people receive their benefits by introducing a Universal Credit system to replace most existing benefits. This would limit people’s entitlements, while paying benefits direct to tenants as opposed to their landlords. This means we will need to work even harder to make sure our rent is collected on time. The changes are not here yet, but we have an incredibly important role to play in making sure tenants are well informed and we will be working hard to offer support and advice to those people who will be affected. Another key change for the housing sector is the abolition of the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) giving new powers for tenants to improve services.

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The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has taken over some of the work previously done by the TSA but the move marks wider Government plans to streamline public bodies to make them more transparent and accountable. We strongly believe that local people should be at the heart of everything we do and we have always worked hard to make sure that happens across all areas of our business. The new regulations promise to promote greater resident involvement and we look forward to seeing more of this at New Charter and across the housing sector. The financial climate remains unsteady but we are very fortunate to be in a position where we can start to build more homes again. The HCA has supported us with grant funding over the next three years which will help us to build many new affordable homes for families in Tameside, Nottingham and Oldham.

This keeps us on track with our corporate plan and also helps us to deliver our vision of Great Homes, Great Neighbourhoods and Great People. It is really fantastic news and we have celebrated the start of work on a number of sites already.


Ian Munro Group Chief Executive

Martin Frost Executive Director Corporate Services and Deputy Chief Executive

Tony Powell Executive Director Neighbourhoods

Andy Stafford Executive Director Homes

Christine Amyes Executive Director People

Lynn Clayton Managing Director Gedling Homes

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Environmental Initiative of the Year, Heating & Ventilation awards

Best Companies 2012

TPAS Accreditation for Gedling Homes

Residents win Keep Britain Tidy award

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

A great performance This year the Group has achieved its largest collection of awards and accreditations to date. We have broadened our horizons and attained a diversity of awards, as well as the Group excelling in the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies To Work For survey in the UK. This year, we achieved 7th place in the list of ‘Best Not-For-Profit Organisations To Work For’, in a more competitive category with a greater number of housing associations entering. It is the third year the organisation has been voted into the top 20 and this year’s result saw us rocket from 16th to 7th place. For the third year running, the Group also retained ‘three star status’. This is the top grade awarded by Best Companies, recognising New Charter as an ‘extraordinary’ employer and reflects our ethos of supporting GREAT people.

We also received our first Diversity in Business Accreditation (DiBA), achieving the highest standard of ‘excellence’ in the review. This demonstrates that we carry out good practice and that equality and diversity values are embedded across the organisation. The Trust was awarded its fourth Gold award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for our excellence in health and safety practice. Gedling Homes and New Charter Building Company achieved their second and third awards respectively. In 2011, the Building Company won the prestigious ‘Installer of the Year’ award for the whole of the UK at the Installer Live awards. Further success was achieved with ‘Environmental Initiative of the Year’ at the Heating & Ventilation awards for a new high-tech, low cost and ‘green’ heating system installed at Chartist House.

New Charter Homes’ Neighbourhoods team achieved notable recognition, becoming one of only a handful of housing companies in the country to be awarded an Estate Management accreditation from the Housing Quality Network (HQN). The report confirmed that our work is helping to reduce antisocial behaviour and the fear of crime on estates. New Charter Homes’ tenants stole the limelight too, with six residents’ groups recognised as ‘outstanding’ for their gardening work in the North West In Bloom competition. Brushes Estate Management Board also received the ‘Best Large Neighbourhood Trophy.’ Our first entry into the Keep Britain Tidy awards saw residents of Micklehurst estate: ‘Muddy Buddies’ fight off tough competition from local authorities to win the ‘Love Where You Live’ community award.

Gedling Homes achieved the Investors in Excellence Accreditation and became one of the youngest landlords in the country to be accredited by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS).

In March, the Group renewed its Customer Service Excellence accreditation mark, achieving an outstanding 100% across all areas.

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Five star service A high standard of customer service remains of prime importance to us and this has been demonstrated with a number of developments and key successes over the past year. A landmark achievement for the Group in 2011 was receiving our best ever satisfaction rating in the annual Survey of Tenants and Residents (STAR). Overall customer satisfaction ratings now stand at 94% for New Charter Homes; 93% for Gedling Homes, and 91% for Aksa Homes. All results show notable increases on past years, with an astonishing progression of 21% for Aksa Homes. In March 2012, the Group renewed its Customer Service Excellence accreditation, achieving 100% across all areas. The accreditation is a stamp of approval showing that we carry out the highest level of service to customers. The report showed we performed to the highest possible level in three areas, including involving and engaging with customers. Previous feedback from tenants highlighted the need for improvement with communications, therefore this

area of the business has seen substantial investment and improvements in service within the last 12 months. ‘Connect’, a central customer service centre was introduced in June 2011. This facility brought together customer service staff to form a single point of contact for customers, focused on first point resolution of their issues. As a result, we have seen a 30% increase in calls answered and satisfaction with telephone services improving to 97.4%. A Service Improvement Team has also been introduced to assist in developing a customer relationship management system (CRM), to help us improve the way we respond to customers’ issues. Connect will be officially launched to customers later in 2012. Looking Local, a digital TV service for customers has also been launched and is particularly beneficial to those who may be housebound or geographically remote; and those without internet access. Since it was introduced in September 2011, the service has grown and up until March 2012 has received more than17,000 hits across the three company platforms. Customers are particularly using the service to search for properties. This year, overall customer satisfaction with repairs was rated at 93.1%, demonstrating a 3% increase on last year. 100% performance was achieved in many areas

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of the responsive repairs service, showing enhanced service delivery for tenants. Antisocial behaviour services have seen dramatic developments during 2011/12 too, with 92% of customers satisfied with the way their antisocial behaviour complaint was dealt with. This shows a 9% increase on last year’s results. An encouraging 91% of customers were satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, showing a significant 17% increase on the previous year. All results for customer service related to antisocial behaviour cases are excellent and rated between 96 and 99%. Reflecting our high level of customer service, Group attendance records remain higher than the national average at 97.07%. The absence rate stands at 2.93%, below the not-for-profit industry average of 3.6%. The Group’s absence rate equates to 6.2 days per employee which is lower than the North West average of 7.1 days.


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Newcomers It has been an exciting year for homes with New Charter Homes and Aksa Homes successful in securing £8m of grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) Affordable Rent programme. Over the next three years, this funding will go some way towards helping us to build 252 new homes for New Charter and 65 for Aksa. In Tameside work has started on the first 59 homes in Ashton, Dukinfield and Stalybridge while in Oldham, Aksa Homes is venturing into new areas with 29 new homes in Uppermill, Lees and Chadderton. Our partnership with the JV North consortium is stronger than ever and we’re now the lead partner for the organisation, recognising us as a key developer in the North West.

Annual Report 2011/2012

The Brookdale development in St Petersfield is a £3.5m partnership project with the HCA and the council, and has seen us build 31 new homes for affordable rent in the heart of a regeneration area for Ashton town centre. As Code level 4 homes they are the most energy efficient homes we have ever built. Beatrix House in Dukinfield will open this year and is one of only four extra-care units in Tameside specialising in state-of-the-art accommodation for older people and those with dementia. The scheme will help people to live independently with round-the-clock tailored support from health care professionals. It has on-site facilities for residents and the community as well as a sensory garden with different smells and colours and a reminiscence room to help aid people’s treatment. At Gedling, we have completed plans to remodel Moyra House, a sheltered scheme based in Arnold. The site currently contains empty bedsits and our investment here will create new one and two bedroom apartments, over the next 12 months. All of our new homes will be energy efficient to help reduce fuel poverty and are capable of adapting to the changing needs of tenants.

JV North is a joint venture company formed in 2007 by a group of housing associations in the region. It was set up for development purposes in order to undertake a range of regeneration projects, ensuring efficiencies across house building while attracting external grant funding.

Brookdale, St Petersfield

As well as expanding the Group’s portfolio, New Charter Homes has performed excellently against our 2011/12 empty homes target. The target was to have no more than 140 homes sitting empty but we went that step further and achieved 135, just 0.92% of our total stock. A total of 79 new quality units have been added to our stock portfolio and 99.94% of our properties met the Decent Homes standard at year end. Voids are at the lowest they have ever been too. Additionally, £1.6m of grant funding was secured for new energy efficient heating systems at Cavendish Mill and Leesfield House, installed by our Building Company. These renewable technologies will drive down fuel bills for customers and carbon emissions. It has also been a key year for developments in Oldham as Aksa Homes branched out into a new area of business with a social lettings agency, Homes For All. The new service helps landlords to let out their properties while offering support to tenants looking for private lettings.

This year, New Charter Homes’ flagship developments, St Petersfield (Brookdale) and Beatrix House have been completed and will soon be fully occupied. Beatrix House

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

In the spotlight In last year’s report, we promised there would be more of our work to watch out for on your screens – and we’re pleased to say, there is! After some very positive feedback from people who watched the popular BBC One show ‘Neighbourhood Watched’, we have collaborated with Raw Television again for another forthcoming series. The programme would not be possible without the goodwill of staff, tenants and partners to show the ordinary and extraordinary business of housing to viewers across the country. The documentary concentrates on the way we look after our neighbourhoods and our tenants, and we believe it shows the value of social housing as well as the challenges it faces. It features the personal stories of some of our customers, how we manage their expectations and resolve problems. Facing the cameras with no editorial control may seem brave, but it reflects the confidence we have in our professional staff. The housing sector needs to show what it does in an interesting way if it is to gather public support. We hope you will watch the next series and let us know what you think.

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From the screens to the airwaves, we have developed a partnership with local community station Tameside Radio which will focus on community engagement by building on our mutual strengths. We are excited to see how the partnership will grow and the benefits it will have for tenants and the wider community. We have already started to discuss community initiatives and projects with young people at the New Charter Academy and are looking forward to the future. The station will play a role in helping us to share important information with our community. We are also exploring new ways to communicate with customers and raise our profile with the launch of Facebook pages and a Group Twitter account.


Stephen Ball Executive Director, New Charter Academy

Below: New Charter Academy campus

Teaching excellence In September 2011 New Charter Academy’s inspirational new £43m campus opened its doors to students. The site provides a motivational space for 1,350 students, with plenty of green areas, state-of-the-art facilities and a sixth form. The campus will also act as a versatile community facility for events and enhanced learning experiences. Providing a positive springboard for this new phase of the school, students in 2011 achieved the best GCSE results the Academy has seen since forming in 2008. The number of students gaining 5 A* - C grades including English and Maths, rose to an impressive 46%, with the number of students gaining 5 A* - C grades reaching 83%. These results showed a dramatic 10% increase in the pass rate from 2010 to 2011. In January, a new Executive Director was appointed. Mr Stephen Ball has an extensive background in leadership and secondary education, with more than 25 years’ experience in the field.

Left, from top: Students celebrating their GCSE results Tony Powell and Carol Ann Duffy at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Autumn 2011 saw the start of a new three-year partnership between New Charter Homes, its Academy and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

give young people and families better opportunities to experience high quality culture and the arts. The partnership aims to break down cultural barriers, raise aspirations and improve literacy standards among disadvantaged communities. The work will also focus on reducing worklessness in our neighbourhoods by supporting people back into work through inspirational projects and volunteering. The new building has hosted a number of exciting visitors including BBC Radio 5 Live journalist Juliette Ferrington and Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy who visited the Academy to launch the Manchester Children’s Book Festival. Relationships have strengthened between the school and its sponsor, with New Charter Homes involving students in key projects to design logos for our new Connect and Green Charter services. Plans are also well underway for New Charter to begin sponsoring the first primary Academy in Tameside. In the heart of one of our communities, Ridge Hill primary school in Stalybridge will become Silver Springs Academy.

The theatre has begun to work with the Academy and the wider community to run exclusive arts projects to

Carol Ann Duffy visiting the Academy to launch the Book Festival 11


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Supporting roles The Government’s major changes to welfare benefits will affect many of our tenants and it will hit families and those in need most. As one of Tameside’s largest employers we have a lot of work to do to help people back into work so they do not have to rely on benefits. In January, we launched our GREAT Opportunities programme at New Charter Homes – a three-year project to help tackle local unemployment by giving people more opportunities to develop skills and build their confidence through further training, education or volunteering. The programme is supported by the Job Centre Plus and next year, we will again offer apprenticeship positions across the business and our Building Company.

The Tameside project aims to get people off benefits by helping families on a journey back into employment, based on payment-by-results. Gedling’s repairs and investment service has supported a number of worklessness initiatives, including offering eight apprenticeship opportunities. We have also assisted a number of local schools with work experience programmes by hosting students on work placements. At Gedling, we are also working alongside Gedling Borough Council in the worklessness agenda to support 18 to 25-year-olds to gain employment within the borough. We are expanding the types of support we can offer our people in need of a place to live, welcoming Knowsley Housing Options to the Group and forming a strategic alliance with homelessness charity Threshold.

2011/12 has also been a very successful year for our family intervention work.

Oldham-based Threshold provides supported accommodation and floating support for a wide range of customers as well as housing advice and casework for offenders.

This area has continued to grow with New Charter chosen as a regional partner in a £200m Government project to help complex families, funded through the European Social Fund (ESF).

Our shared values will strengthen the housing related support network for those most in need across Oldham and Tameside by allowing the Group to expand its services on a charitable basis.

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We have been successful in winning the contract to deliver homelessness services in Knowsley and are proud to be helping another area to tackle this important issue. The Knowsley team did some excellent work during the Huyton flood crisis in July which subsequently led to manager of the team, Maureen Ashcroft, winning a business award for her performance. The team also smashed its 2011/12 target of preventing 511 homeless cases with a total of 596. Our Housing Advice and Supported Housing teams in Tameside achieved a great milestone with no customers in Bed & Breakfast accommodation at the end of March. This is a fantastic result at the end of a busy and challenging year for the service.


Annie Hopley, Chair of Threshold board and Ged Cooney, Chair of New Charter Housing Trust welcome the partnership of New Charter and Threshold.

Maureen Ashcroft receiving her Knowsley Business award

Tameside Housing Advice staff

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

New Charter Homes At New Charter Homes, we have continued to work hard to improve our communities and during Geoff Loughlin Chair, New the past year we have Charter Homes celebrated many successes and developments. One of our biggest changes this year has been the launch of our in-house grounds maintenance service. Celebrating the 100th birthday of one of our residents

Children at Shepley Wood play area, funded by New Charter Homes

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Our Tenant Management Team with our Director of Communities, Emma Marsh (right)

Previously this work was done externally but after much feedback from tenants, we decided to take on the work ourselves with a new team named Green Charter.

In March, we were praised for the way we look after our neighbourhoods and New Charter Homes became one of only a handful of housing providers in the country to achieve Estate Accreditation from the Housing Quality Network (HQN).

The new service is set to save us around £1.2m over the next five years - money that can be put back into our neighbourhoods.

The independent review found that our work had contributed to a ‘dramatic fall in antisocial behaviour incidents and the fear of crime’ on estates.

CleanCare, our in-house caretaking service has been performing well too. In the past year we have saved a further £8,000 by switching to one general cleaning product as opposed to using multiple materials - a great quick win.

Meanwhile, tenants have been receiving their own accolades. Members of the Micklehurst Residents’ Association won our first national Keep Britain Tidy award for their environmental work on their estate, beating local councils to the title.

A new fleet of more fuel efficient vehicles across the two teams is also helping to reduce our carbon footprint and provide better value for money for our tenants.

Six of our other resident groups achieved ‘outstanding’ recognition at the North West In Bloom awards in the summer, with Brushes Estate Management Board in Stalybridge being crowned overall Trophy winners for the Best Large Neighbourhood.


Young people from New Charter’s Dreamscheme showcased their work at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park again in July and received a welldeserved Merit for their ‘Bug Hotel’ project designed to attract wildlife and insects to gardens. As one of only 10 Co-regulatory Champions in the country, New Charter’s Tenant Management Team (TMT) has helped a number of housing companies, including local partners, to set up their own scrutiny teams. TMT has also been working with the other nine Co-regulatory Champions and the Centre of Public Scrutiny to produce three national publications on the topic. Throughout the year, the team has been busy representing us by delivering workshops on resident involvement at conferences and events up and down the country. They have visited many places including the Tenant Advisor partnership in London as well as HQN and TPAS annual conferences. Amy Welsh, student at New Charter Academy presents the Green Charter logo she designed

Our Green Charter monitors

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

New Charter Building Company Vincent Ricci Chair, New Charter Building Company

Our Building Company continues to thrive despite the difficult economic climate.

It remains a difficult and uncertain time for the construction industry and although the financial climate has not improved much since our last report, we’re pleased to say that our Building Company has had another remarkable year. This year, we have brought in £7.2m from external work, exceeding our target by around £1.9m. Over the last ten years since the company formed, we have brought in a grand total of £56.8m in external business. We also continue to grow, adding some key public and private sector names to our client list including developers Carillion, the NHS and other housing associations in the region. This success is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff who continue to drive the business forward by instilling pride in their work and making customers happy. Our efforts and new ways of working have supported a 3% increase in customer satisfaction with repairs,

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reaching an overall rate of 93.1%. Annualised hours for responsive gas engineers have also contributed towards this improvement, with staff working longer hours in the winter to meet demand and less during the quieter summer months. The average time to complete any repair is at a record low of 4.67 days with 100% of all emergency repairs completed within the four hour target. Gas servicing reached 100% compliance again over the past 18 months. The Building Company’s trophy cabinet has been short of space throughout the year after many award night successes.

At the InstallerLive Awards in October, New Charter Building Company was crowned UK Installer of the Year for the second year running and Best Gas Installer in the North of England. We also achieved the Diversity in Business accreditation (DiBA) later in the year. The awards are important in helping us to attract more work and develop new partnerships. Our continued commitment to health and safety in the workplace also enabled us to gain our third Gold award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Away from the limelight of award ceremonies, we’ve done a lot of work at the Building Company to fulfil our social responsibility. We have worked with local people, schools and colleges in the area taking on 34 work placements and, in the year ahead, we will support New Charter’s GREAT Opportunities programme with new apprenticeship positions. Using local suppliers and contractors remains a priority for us too.

Receiving the Installer of the Year award (2011)

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New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Gedling Homes Our third year of operation has been another extremely successful one, Adam Jacobs with more award winning Chair, Gedling Homes achievements, partnerships and excellent service delivery and customer satisfaction. In 2011, we achieved our best ever result for tenant satisfaction in our annual Survey of Tenants and Residents (STAR). Following guidelines from HouseMark, this result of 93% demonstrated an 8% increase on last year and is one of the highest in the country. The third full year of our investment programme has been delivered on time and on budget, once again securing receipt of Gap Funding payments from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in full. This amounted to £2.8m in funding to support us to deliver the Gedling Tenants Standard investment programme. Around £11million has been spent on improving homes and neighbourhoods across the borough; including new kitchens, bathrooms and energy efficient heating. We introduced a new programme of external improvements which saw hundreds of homes receive a variety of works, including new fencing and paths.

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Tenant satisfaction with the delivery of the investment programme remains at an excellent level of 96.7%.

In 2010, we introduced a new caretaking service for tenants and customer satisfaction with this has grown from 74% in 2010 to 87% in 2011.

The introduction of the new responsive repairs contract with Morrison FS in April 2010 has seen further improvements in service delivery during 2011/12. Customer satisfaction with this service has improved from 73% to 86%.

Rent collection performance again improved on last year’s result, reaching 100.33%: an outstanding achievement in current financial times. In support of this, our Welfare Benefits team succeeded in claiming £245,000 for tenants over the past 12 months.

Gedling Homes’ repairs and investment service has been recognised in the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) East Midlands awards. The ‘Committed to Collaboration’ award was achieved for our partnership with Morrison FS, and Highly Commended was attained in the ‘Committed to Corporate Responsibility’ category in partnership with Frank Haslam Milan.

As one of the youngest housing associations in the country to be accredited by TPAS, we were presented with the three-year accreditation for demonstrating excellence in the way we work with tenants to develop and improve services.

Our best practice in health and safety has continued to be recognised again this year, with the achievement of a second Gold award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Our Neighbourhood Management model is delivered in close partnership with key stakeholders including Gedling Borough Council and Nottinghamshire Police. The neighbourhoods service has been reshaped to ensure resources are targeted to areas of highest need; resulting in an increase in customer satisfaction with neighbourhoods from 86% in 2010 to 90% in 2011.

Gedling Homes is one of only a few housing companies in the country to achieve this stamp of approval from TPAS so soon after formation. The excellent way in which tenants are involved in the production of the company’s annual report was an area which was particularly commended. The Investors in Excellence standard was also successfully accomplished. This standard is a framework for improvement and assessment and recognises us as an organisation which is excelling in leadership, resourcing, delivery and achievement.


Marking the success of one of our investment programmes

Receiving our Chartered Institute of Building award

One of our school workshops, run in partnership with Frank Haslam Milan

Receiving our TPAS accreditation 19


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Aksa Homes Georgia Parker Chair, Aska Homes

This year at Aksa Homes we have continued to develop our services to meet the growing demands and needs of our communities.

A new Board with members bringing a range of expertise and skills to the company has been fundamental in supporting the new direction of a community based organisation. Broadening our traditional Oldham boundaries, we have started work on an £8.5m investment programme to build more than 65 new family homes in the region for affordable rent. Properties will reach out as far as Lees and Uppermill and will progress over the next few years. All homes will be energy efficient to help reduce fuel poverty. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has contributed towards the development through the Affordable Homes Programme. In 2011, we achieved our best ever result for tenant satisfaction in our annual Survey of Tenants and Residents (STAR). Following guidelines from HouseMark, this result of 91% marks an outstanding 21% increase on last year’s result. The Aksa Homes team 20


New Charter Housing Trust Group

The first social lettings agency in the Group was set up by Aksa Homes this year. Homes for All opens another pathway for local residents in need of a home and can often provide a quicker solution to housing problems.

This year, Aksa Homes has undergone an internal restructure, appointing staff as dedicated project officers for different service areas. English class run by Aksa Homes

Since we introduced the scheme, we have successfully completed 11 new tenancies and are working with around 56 private landlords and empty property owners. All will lead to completed tenancies within the next six months.

Services for customers have also expanded with the introduction of a handyperson service. Tenants’ feedback told us they wanted a quicker response rate to repairs, so this dedicated service was introduced to carry out jobs around the home quickly and effectively, with flexible appointment times. With the support of New Charter tenants, a Tenant Scrutiny Panel has also been established to boost resident involvement and gain valuable feedback on services.

The agency has also found suitable accommodation for 35 families and single persons, preventing them from homelessness and additional costs. Homes for All is now looking to make links with other local partners to further enhance our role in the community. Alongside Homes for All, Aksa Homes has developed a £1.3m Empty Homes Programme in conjunction with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). We will be Oldham council’s key partner in bringing empty homes in the borough back into use and we have been successful in achieving the relevant funding.

Annual Report 2011/2012

Aksa hosting the key International Women’s Day event for the region

In March, we organised and hosted the key celebratory event in the region for International Women’s Day. The event gave women of all cultures the opportunity to meet and share experiences. Women’s Housing Action Group (WHAG) also attended. This organisation supports and empowers women who are homeless and vulnerable, and those suffering from domestic violence.

This work is key in helping us to tackle poor living conditions in the private sector and give vulnerable residents access to housing options they may not have previously considered. We have also developed an ‘Into work strategy’ which aims to support people back into employment. Other initiatives such as the ‘Work Club’ are helping tenants to access jobs.

Young tenants involved in a planting day 21


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Our performance There are three registered providers in the New Charter Housing Trust Group. The housing data listed here covers all three. Figures are at 31st March 2012 or for the 2011/12 financial year.

The registered providers are: Number of homes

Areas of working

723

Oldham, Manchester, Bury, Tameside

3,349

Gedling

New Charter Homes

14,688

Tameside

Total

18,760

Aksa Homes Gedling Homes

Property portfolio: a) Distribution by borough

Bury 71

in 2011/12

b) Decent Homes

New developments

99.94% of our homes meet the Decent Homes standard.

Location

Every Aksa Homes property complies with Decent Homes, (most of Aksa Homes’ stock is relatively new). Nearly all of the New Charter Homes stock is older but has seen massive investment. The Group figure was lowered by the entry of Gedling Homes in 2008, however great strides have been made to ensure a large proportion of the housing stock now exceeds the Decent Homes standard. At 31st March 2012 the number of properties failing to meet this standard had reduced from 1142 in 2009 to 185 (5.6% of the Gedling Homes properties). This programme of works will be completed by 31st March 2014 and is currently ahead of target in ensuring that all of the Gedling properties exceed the Decent Homes standard. c) Energy Efficiency

Oldham 511

All of our new properties have very high energy efficiency standards. For our older homes, we invest heavily in cavity loft insulation and energy efficient boilers and windows. The measure of housing energy efficiency is the SAP score.

Tameside 14,726 Manchester 103 Gedling 3,349

Our SAP score is around 70% d) Leased Property

Cumulative number of properties sold but freehold retained (e.g. flats): 489 22

Beatrix House, Dukinfield St Petersfield, Ashton

Number of homes

Cost (£’000)

Grant (£’000)

31 31

3,964 3,750

1,600 1,900

We were successful in securing lead partner status in the JV North consortium this year and in securing support from the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver 252 new properties at New Charter Homes and 65 new properties at Aksa Homes, over the coming three years. We have made a great start on this challenging target and are currently on site at: Location

Wellington Road, Ashton Wakefield Road, Stalybridge Birch Lane, Dukinfield Buckley Street, Uppermill Owl Mill, Lees Whiteley Street, Chadderton Property acquisitions Right to Buy-Buy-Backs Mortgage Rescue

Number of homes

Cost (£’000)

Grant (£’000)

31

2,810

742

11

1,100

272

18 6 12

2,030 1,010 1,470

445 490 297

11

1,430

893

11 16

757 741

0 679

Aksa Homes bought out its leasehold interest in the 12 Apostles, Ashton at a cost of £685,00.


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Rent Levels

Annual Report 2011/2012

Letting Property Number of homes let in the year: 2,014

Our rents remain very affordable, well below market rents and below average rents for registered providers in the North West and East Midlands.

Supported and housing for Older People (New Charter Homes)

(£pw)

Bedsit

55.92

Average net weekly rent (excluding service charges)

1 bed

67.35

2 bed

69.84

General Needs housing (New Charter Homes)

(£pw)

3 bed

76.20

Bedsit

52.73

4 bed

79.68

1 bed

63.41 (£pw)

Bedsit

55.08

1 bed

59.85

2 bed

68.24

3 bed

74.04

4 bed

0.00

73.77

3 bed

81.37

4 bed

84.73

General Needs housing (Gedling Homes)

(£pw)

Bedsit

49.34

1 bed

54.82

2 bed

64.06

3 bed

71.43

Rent collected as a percentage of rent debit (less rent lost due to voids)

4 bed

78.13

Increase in average rent

Aksa Homes

(£pw)

Rent collected as % of rent debit (net of Housing Benefit)

All stock

78.05

Annual rent debit

Oldham 42

Tameside 1,680

Supported and housing for Older People (Gedling Homes)

2 bed

Bury 1

5.74% 100.12% £72,349,102

% of rent debit in current arrears (net of Housing Benefit)

3.19%

% of rent lost due to voids

1.56%

% of rent debit written off in year

1.05%

Gedling 285

Manchester 6

Lettings by Household Type Older Singles/couples Households Families with under 60 years (60+) children Aksa Homes

13.04%

0%

86.96%

Gedling Homes

79.27%

6.50%

14.23%

New Charter Homes

56.67%

6.38%

36.95%

White

BME

Aksa

46.51%

53.49%

Gedling Homes

97.06%

2.94%

New Charter Homes

92.47%

7.53%

Lettings by Ethnic Origin of Household

23


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Empty Homes

Tenant Satisfaction

Properties vacant available to rent at year end Properties vacant not available to rent at year end Void rate:

135 0

0.92% of total stock

Repairs Performance Last year we undertook Day-To-Day repairs. 99.45% of these repairs were completed within timescales. The average time between the tenant reporting a repair and the repair being completed is 4.67 days.

Investment Homes improved in the year with new: Bathrooms

624

Kitchens

476

Heating installations

537

Rewires

597

Roofs

275

Spending £’000 Investment Cyclical maintenance Responsive maintenance and void properties New Building Total

24

23,890 1,570 13,389 8,406 47,255

Property Sales

New Charter Homes

(%)

Overall satisfaction with New Charter Homes

94

Tenants satisfied that their views are taken into account by New Charter Homes

87

Employees

Tenant satisfaction with New Charter Homes’ repairs and maintenance

90

The Group currently has 834 employees.

*Based on a survey of 1,000 tenants undertaken in July and August.

Aksa Homes

(%)

Overall satisfaction with Aksa Homes:

91

Tenants satisfied that their views are taken into account by Aksa Homes

83

Tenant satisfaction with Aksa Homes’ repairs and maintenance

79

*Based on a survey of 500 tenants undertaken in July

Gedling Homes

(%)

Overall satisfaction with Gedling Homes:

93

Tenants satisfied that their views are taken into account by Gedling Homes

87

Tenant satisfaction with Gedling Homes’ repairs and maintenance

86

*Based on a survey of 800 tenants undertaken in July and August.

Properties sold in the year under Right to Buy or Right to Acquire

17

Ethnicity White

629

Undisclosed

165

Asian

9

Bangladeshi

8

Pakistani

8

Mixed Race

6

Black

6

Caribbean

1

Chinese

1

Eastern European

1

Gender Male

412

Female

422


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Group Income and Expenditure account for the year ended 31st March 2012 £’000

Other services – Housing Advice

Financial Highlights 2011/12

New Charter provides a complete housing advice and homelessness service for Tameside and also has a service based in Knowsley.

RTB/RTA properties generating £779k (2010/11 £702k)

Tameside Housing Advice Number of cases (presentations to the service)

5221

(of which became actual homelessness applications)

432

Number of applications accepted as homeless and in priority need

63

Homeless cases prevented for at least 6 months

601

Households temporarily accommodated in the year (as at 31st March 12) New Charter accommodation Temporary accommodation Bed and breakfast

123 22 0

Knowsley Housing Options Contacts to the service

1752

Advice cases worked on in the year

832

(of which became actual homelessness applications)

169

Number of applications accepted as homeless and in priority need

44

Homeless cases prevented for at least 6 months

596

Households temporarily accommodated in the year Temporary accommodation

7

*Bed and breakfast

4

(*Knowsley does not have hostel accommodation for families. Families are referred to temporary bed and breakfast accommodation, which is reflected in the numbers reported above).

Component Accounting was adopted during the year and Capitalised major works were £18.017m (2010/11 £18.243m) Rent losses from voids increased by £63k (2010/11 £1.058m)

Turnover Maintenance, management and other admin Operating Surplus Surplus on sale of properties Surplus on ordinary activities before interest and tax Net interest and tax payable Surplus for the year

86,382 (66,519) 19,863 463 20,326 (16,768) 3,558

Group Balance Sheet What we own Value of investment in our housing stock

473,405

Provisions for liabilities and charges £43.663m (2010/11 £55.190m) relating to the development agreement with Gedling Borough Council is included on the Balance Sheet

Cost of investment in our offices, IT etc

13,526

External income generated by the Building Company was £7.3m (2010/11 £12.8m)

Net wealth

Building Company Turnover £24.5m (2010/11 £30m)

486,931 Cash in hand and money we are owed, less bills not paid at year end

48,991 535,992

How we fund our investment Borrowing from our loan facility Other long term creditors

315,681 68,799

Accumulated reserves

151,512

Total funding

535,992

25


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Boards of Directors 2011/12 New Charter Housing Trust Limited Company number 3807262 Gerald Cooney (Local Authority) (Chair) Hamid Ghafoor (Independent) (Vice Chair) Maria Bailey (Local Authority) Malcolm Burbridge (Tenant) Ann Djordjevic (Independent)

Jacqui Fendall (Independent)

Paul Stone (Independent)

Tracey Jones (Local Authority)

Stephen White (Independent)

Joan Ryan (Independent)

Doreen Richardson (Tenant) - Resigned on 20th September 2011

Desmond (Taff) Jeffery (Tenant) - Resigned on 19th September 2011 Anne Wright (Local Authority) - Resigned on 17th May 2011 Jacqui McCann (Co-opted)

Richard Goodwin (Local Authority) - Resigned on 17th May 2011

Tony Powell (Executive - Co-opted)

Vic Bradley (Local Authority) - Resigned on 17th May 2011

Gordon Tow (Co-opted)

Jed Hassid (Independent)

New Charter Building Company Limited

Adam Jacobs (Independent)

Company number 3807120

Ian Munro (Executive)

Vincent Ricci (Independent) (Chair)

Georgia Parker (Independent) - Appointed on 19th September 2011

Kieran Quinn (Independent) (Vice Chair)

Joan Ryan (Independent)

Liliane Laine-Slater (Independent)

Stephen Savory (Co-opted) - Appointed on 1st May 2011 Aslam Khan (Co-opted) - Resigned as an Independent Director and appointed as Co-opted Director on 19th November 2011

Geoff Howarth (Independent) Andy Stafford (Executive)

Aksa Housing Association Limited (Trading as Aksa Homes) FSA registration 27003R Georgia Parker (Chair) Sugra Akbar Mohammed Ansar Qulzam Bhatti

Kalsoom Iqbal Zillur Rahman Keith Rushton

Geoff Loughlin (Independent) (Chair)

(A new Aksa Homes board was appointed on 1st May 2011) The following people were co-opted onto the Group’s Company number 05975258 Committees during the year: Andrew Broadhurst (Finance) Adam Jacobs (Independent) (Chair) Mark Dunford (Finance) Roger Palmer (Tenant) (Vice Chair) Patricia Andrews (Local Authority) – Appointed on 18th May 2011 Richard Sainsbury (Audit)

Jim Middleton (Local Authority) (Vice Chair)

Jim Creamer (Local Authority)

Alan Alcock (Tenant)

Ray Ellis (Tenant)

Lez Barstow (Tenant) - Appointed on 19th September 2011

Brian Fisher (Tenant) - Appointed on 20th September 2011

David Boyle (Local Authority)

Kathryn Fox (Local Authority) - Appointed on 18th May 2011

Tom Daly (Tenant)

Gary Gregory (Local Authority) - Appointed on 18th May 2011

Eve Foster (Co-opted) - Appointed on 19th September 2011

New Charter Homes Limited Company number 3807022

Gedling Homes

Ron Hodges (Independent) Lindy Mee (Tenant) - Resigned on 26th March 2012 26


New Charter Housing Trust Group

Annual Report 2011/2012

Issued by New Charter Housing Trust Limited, a company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England and Wales, company number 3807262; registered office: Cavendish 249, Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7AT Design & Print by Northstar Design & Printing.com 01282 865333

27


Registered Office: Cavendish 249, Cavendish Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, OL6 7AT T: 0161 331 2000 F: 0161 331 2001 E: contact@newcharter.co.uk www.newcharter.co.uk @newchartergroup

28


New Charter Homes Annual Report 2011-12