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2010- 11 Annual Report

“Working together”

CONTeNTS Our resident team 1 About Viridian 1 Introduction 2 The Tenant Services Authority and local offers 2 What are local offers 3 Feedback from last year’s report 3 01 Resident involvement and empowerment 4-13 02 Home standard 14-16 03 Residency 17-20 04 Neighbourhood and community 21-23 05 Other services provided 24-26 06 Value for money and governance 27-29

being d e y enjo am who e v a h “I he te ther this t f o toge rt. I part t u p o d helpe annual rep ople e years t’s really p just i think d and not e focus acts.” cold f n


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Our resident team

We would like to say a big thank you to the fantastic team of residents who have given up their free time to help us produce this year’s annual report. The team worked alongside our designers to come up with the look and feel of the report, they told us what information they thought should be in it and also reviewed the content. They have been a great team to work with and without them this report would not have been possible.

Teri-lorelle anderson, Ola Solanke, Raymond Winslow, Barbara Clarke, Jodie Gerald, Sigourney Gerald, adam Gravely, annie Brereton, Miss Wong, Sid Stone and Olive parker. (Names are in no particular order)

About Viridian

We are a housing association and provide social and commercial housing to over 30,000 residents spanning london and the south east, the Midlands and West Sussex. We have around 16,000 homes and work in partnership with local authorities, organisations and residents to help create safe and happy communities.

The aim of this report is to provide you with important information about our annual performance and help you to understand how we operate. We have worked closely with a team of dedicated residents to ensure the content is useful, easy to understand and relevant.

ViRidiaN aNNual RepORT 2010-11

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Over the last 12 months we have made some great progress as an organisation and we are really proud of our achievements. We brought our repairs company, Viridian Facilities Management, in house, which has simplified the way we work and is helping us to deliver a more efficient service. Our Balham and Streatham offices moved to an open plan office in Clapham, which has really helped us to work closer ‘as one team’. We have extended our customer services centre opening hours; encouraged more residents to work alongside us to help improve our services and committed to provide around ÂŁ100 million worth of additional housing, showing our determination to deliver more affordable housing in this time of need. The past year has also been challenging for us. Our Board made the hard decision to exit our care services for older people in 2012. The aim of this is to help simplify our business and focus on our core housing services. Our care residents and their families are our first priority throughout this process, and we are working closely with partners to ensure there is as little disruption as possible for those affected. One of our key priorities for the next 12 months is to increase our social impact. The riots this summer have highlighted the importance of housing associations helping

ies welyn-Dav Hattie Lle ard, Chair Viridian Bo PAGE 2

residents to improve their lives in the longterm. We intend to give significant resources to this issue over the next decade and believe we should be increasingly measured on the extent to which we are really helping to deliver these outcomes. We will also be focusing on improving the way we spend money to reduce our costs and improve the way we handle complaints. There are many challenges for the coming year and together with our residents, we will work hard on delivering our promises.

Hattie Llewelyn-Davies Viridian Board chair Shaun Lansfield National Residents Forum chair

Shaun Lansfield National Residents Forum, Chair

The Tenant Service Authority (TSA) standards and local offers

Last year the TSA introduced six national standards for housing providers to form the basis of co-regulation. This is where housing providers and their residents work together to review services. The TSA national standards cover: • Resident involvement and empowerment • Home • Tenancy • Neighbourhood and community • Value for money • Governance and financial viability

Our last annual report set out how we are going to improve in each area. This year’s report is looking at how we have performed over the last 12 months and what our plans are for the next year.

What are local offers?

Local offers are a new way for us to match the services we provide residents with, to the needs of the local community. To develop our local offers we carried out over 1100 surveys with our residents to ensure we where able to develop local offers that reflect the priorities of local communities. We launched local offers on 1 April 2011 and they have been monitored quarterly by our Resident Scrutiny Panels, Resident Service Inspectors and auditors who are carrying out local inspections. In March 2012 our National Residents Forum will be reviewing all the feedback and producing a report about how

we are performing against what we said we would do, and also how we can improve our local offers for the next year. To see what the local offers are in your area please visit

Feedback from last year’s report The figures Last year we sent out 10,738 copies of the annual report to all residents along with feedback cards. We had 111 feedback cards returned which we analysed to find out what residents thought of the report. Summary of the results • 91% of residents found the information in the report interesting. • 70% of residents prefer to receive a copy

automatically in the post, although 13% would be happy to view it online. • 45% of residents thought that the information in the report was comprehensive and 44% of residents found the information good, but they only read what they were interested in. This year we have ensured our annual report was tailored to the feedback provided by our residents. Viridian annual report 2010-11



RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT AND EMPOWERMENT THIS SECTION COVERS • Customer services and choice • Complaints • Resident involvement and empowerment • Equality and diversity

Customer services and choice For the last 12 months we have been working hard to achieve the objectives we set last year. We have recruited an external company to carry out regular customer satisfaction surveys, which are helping us to focus on how to improve our service for residents. We also launched an online service called My Viridian, which allows residents to access their rent account, report a repair and see their personal details via our website at a time convenient for them. To take us closer to our aim of having a national customer service centre we have moved the Midlands repairs calls to our london office. We will be moving the Midlands housing management calls to london later on this year. i am really looking forward to the next 12 months and improving our service further.

Roy Morgan rvices Head of Customer Se

78% 76% 92% of our residents are satisfied with customer service overall. paGe 4

of incoming calls were answered within our target of 20 seconds.

of our residents said that they found our employees professional.

Case study - CHISEL Kids We now have a great new partnership with CHiSel Kids, a service that provides young people with the tools they need to resist negative peer pressure, anti-social behaviour and crime. CHiSel Kids was set up by resident Jacci Francis and plans to give positive messages, activities and opportunities to young people living in Viridian homes. “It is a very exciting opportunity to work together with Viridian. We recently held a very successful day with the Church Manor football team which was enjoyed by all,” Jacci said.

Benchmarking: Average time (in seconds) taken to answer inbound telephone calls 60


50 40 30 28




22 17.5


14 10




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In 2010/11 We said we would…

What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

Make sure all our employees complete the customer services training.

We have implemented a new customer service training programme called live it for all employees to ensure we d provide residents with the best Achie ve service possible.

Improve customer care by introducing an organisation wide customer care policy and procedure, which we will publish on our website.

Trial extended opening hours for the customer services centre based in London.

We extended opening hours for the customer services centre as a trial. The trial went really well and we are now open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm (previously 9am to 5pm) d to improve accessibility for ie v e A ch our residents.

Make it easier for residents to access services through our website by further developing My Viridian.

Collect diversity information for 80% of residents by March 2011, and 95% by March 2013 through our ‘getting to know you’ survey.

So far we have collected diversity data for 70% of our residents. We will continue to contact them to meet our target and help us get a better Y e A RL understanding of our customers N TheRe and their needs.

Work with our black and minority ethnic (BME) residents to increase their satisfaction as they are 10% less satisfied than our white British residents.

Our most recent resident survey showed 69% of BMe residents were satisfied with our overall service, only 2% less satisfied than our white LY Ne A R e British residents which is an R e h T improvement of 8%.

Introduce a system so recommendations from Resident Services Inspectors (RSIs) are actioned.

RSis now provide feedback to the customer services management team every three months. Feedback is added to an action plan and v ed chie implemented by the customer A service centre.

Train all customer service advisors to log customer enquiries at first point of contact, so they can be resolved more efficiently and support our ‘getting it right first time’ approach.

all of our resident facing teams now use a customer relationship management tool (an iT system) to log resident d ie v e enquires when they call. A ch

Review our service standards with residents to ensure they are relevant and measurable.

Our service standards were reviewed and amended by residents and d changes were implemented ie v e A ch on 1 april 2011, and they are reported on regularly.

Introduce a system for logging all incoming and outgoing written correspondence from residents. We will make sure that all responses are sent within ten days.

We have introduced a new electronic document management system in the london office, which scans all LY Ne A R e incoming and outgoing R e h T correspondence to and from residents and stores it electronically. The system will be implemented in all offices by March 2012.

Recruit an external company to carry out our satisfaction surveys with residents.

We now work with a feedback service who gathers resident feedback on our behalf.

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Introduce a text messaging service to remind residents of repair appointments, local activities and rent arrears. Focus on “getting it right first time” by training our people to deal with more queries at the first point of contact. Make better use of feedback from our residents to ensure that our services are shaped to meet their needs. In 2010/11 residents said only 48% of queries were resolved the first time they contacted us. We are focusing our efforts on improving this figure.

Complaints The role of the Complaints Panel is to review all complaints reaching the final stage of the complaints process. Over the past year, we have worked alongside Viridian to resolve complaints for residents and review performance around complaint handling. Following feedback from residents, we will be changing the way we deal with complaints to make the process shorter and more effective. The Complaints Panel looks forward to another year working proactively with Viridian and continuing to play a key role in complaints handling.

Ola Solanke l Chair, Complaints Pane

We understand that when things go wrong, residents want their problem dealt with quickly and with the minimum fuss. Following feedback from both residents and employees, we will be setting up a dedicated customer solutions team to lead on resolving complaints. We will also be working closely with residents from the Complaints Panel to review the lessons learnt from complaints and identify areas for improvement. This will enable us to focus our attention on making improvements that will have the greatest impact on the lives of our residents

Jane Jolly anager Business Excellence M

88% 80% of all complaints were resolved at stage one of the complaints process. There are currently three stages.

more residents joined the Complaints Panel taking the number of members from five to nine.

The Complaints Panel helped to develop our training programme on handling complaints.

Viridian annual report 2010-11


Case study - Resolving problems One of our residents Mrs lundie, took over her tenancy from her mother-in-law. unfortunately, in the process of setting up Mrs lundie’s tenancy, two rent accounts were created in her name – one account showing that her rent was in credit and the other in arrears. Mrs lundie complained to us after receiving a letter about alleged rent arrears. The housing officer worked hard to discover how this happened and called Mrs lundie to apologise and to keep her informed of what was going on. The correct rent account was credited with the money to show it was up-to-date, and measures were put in place to prevent this happening again. Mrs lundie is happy that she received the support she needed and her rent account was corrected.

Benchmarking: Residents satisfied that their views were taken into account 100 89%











40 20 0



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In 2010/11 We said we would…

What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

Improve our complaints response rates so we meet our target of responding to 90% of complaints within ten days.

We responded to 89% of complaints within ten days, just 1% under LY Ne A R e our target. he R

Improve customer satisfaction with the complaints service to meet our target of 75% satisfaction with how the complaint was handled.

unfortunately over the last 12 months we haven’t managed to improve resident satisfaction with the Ne e d S MORe way we handle complaints. W ORK as a direct result, we are looking at setting up a dedicated team to handle complaints.

Regularly discuss the lessons learnt from complaints as a team to understand what they are telling us and where improvements are needed.


Ensure that our complaints service is accessible to everyone and that satisfaction is high across all community groups.

as well as completing an equalities impact assessment, 70% of residents told us they were LY Ne A R e R satisfied with the ease of e Th making a complaint.

Compare our performance on complaints against similar organisations to track how well we’re doing and allow us to learn from others.

We are now able to compare our performance through HouseMark to see where we need to improve d ie v e performance and value A ch for money.

Improve how we learn from complaints and how we let residents know about changes we’ve made to our services as a result of complaints.

We meet regularly to discuss the lessons learnt from complaints. We have published information d ie v e on the website and in link A ch magazine about how we use complaints to improve services.

Create a system to track compliments received so we can do more of what we do well and see where our local offers are successful. Also start recording informal complaints to identify service failures quickly and deal with issues before the formal complaints process is launched.

informal complaints have been transferred to a new iT system that allows us to track them more effectively. We can also record informal d complaints and compliments ie v e A ch on the new system.

Introduce a system for reporting complaints about professionalism to managers so appropriate action can be taken.

professionalism is now recorded on an iT system so that, where necessary, d ie v e managers can raise issues. A ch

Carry out an Equality Impact Assessment of the revised complaints policy and procedure with residents to ensure there are no barriers preventing access to the service.

We carried out an equalities impact assessment of our complaints policy and procedure to check that all residents can access the complaints d ie v e service. We carried out a poster A ch campaign to promote the complaints service to retirement housing residents, who seemed less likely to contact us when things go wrong.

Create a dedicated team to handle complaints and agree to solutions that meet residents’ expectations and review performance targets. Provide feedback to residents through Link, our website and resident meetings about what we are doing differently as a result of the complaints we receive. Review how we carry out the satisfaction survey to ensure that it provides information we can use to develop the complaints service, while providing value for money. In 2009/10 residents said only 48% of queries were resolved the first time they contacted us. We are focusing our efforts improving this figure.

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Resident involvement and empowerment We communicate regularly with our residents to understand what they think of the services we provide and to find out what they need that they aren’t currently getting. We also work closely with our active residents to ensure we are always improving our services which in turn helps to improve quality of life for our residents.

orks w l e n a tiny p er as u r c s “Our d togeth ne o n well a we have improve m a tea in mind, to ng for i t objec ality of liv ident no u s the q Viridian re kes.” a every r what it t ds e idlan est M matt W , ir a


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active residents have contributed 3,755 hours to improve our services.


hours of training was provided for our residents.

Case study - Duke of Edinburgh’s We sponsored three young residents, Jodie Gerald, adam Gravely and Jaesher Mcdowall, to take the duke of edinburgh’s (dofe) award and all three have now completed the residential section of the dofe in Malta. The residential/young leaders programme gave them the opportunity to gain a youth work qualification, Training 4 london certificate, and group work skills. Jodie said, “I had no idea that you could do and learn so much on this course, it’s really an eye opener”. Jaesher feels that the different sections of dofe give the opportunity to do something new and challenge your every move. adam said, “I’m grateful that Viridian decided to sponsor me for the DofE as it’s really changed my life”.

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Robert Cooper & Community Resident involvement engagement Manager


young residents were sponsored to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Case study - Ravenna Road After a lot of hard work and substantial refurbishment, we opened one of our schemes, Ravenna Road, in December 2010 for residents with learning disabilities. The scheme now provides supported housing for nine residents who need a medium to high level of support. One resident said, “Living with Viridian has been wonderful. We have more freedom and privacy living here”.

In 2010/11 We said we would…

What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

Review the active residents’ club, and use it to manage, support and improve resident involvement.

We spent six months contacting residents to confirm that they are interested in being actively involved with Viridian and the kinds of d ie v e things they would like to do. A ch This has helped us target available activities more effectively.

Continue to build a greater understanding of who our residents are and what their specific needs are. Also monitor and act on their feedback to ensure our services are relevant and accessible.

Improve the profile of regional scrutiny panels and make them more effective in reviewing local services.

We have developed a co-regulation framework to ensure that views from the regional scrutiny panels d ie v e A ch are reported to the National Residents Forum and Board.

Support our residents in their conversations with us and ensure that their views are acted on and reflected in improved services.

Provide training courses to support the resident involvement programme.

Our active residents have attended a series of training sessions across the year such as chairing meetings, interviewing and team work, d plus specific skills training ie v e A ch including mystery shopping and estate inspections.

Offer new ways for residents to be involved with Viridian.

The new ways residents can now get involved with us include mystery shopping, quality checking and/or becoming resident auditors. We have also recruited residents to our community grants steering v ed chie group and we are developing A an online resident discussion forum on Facebook.

Continue to meet the training needs of our residents and colleagues so that they have the skills and knowledge they require to work together to improve our services. Adapt and develop the ways we engage with residents to suit their different lifestyles and levels of commitment.

Viridian annual report 2010-11


Equality and diversity We believe that whatever our age, gender, beliefs, ethnic origin, disability or sexuality we all deserve to be treated with respect. We treat everyone we house, employ and work with fairly and encourage others to do the same. it has been a successful year for equality and diversity and 2011/12 promises to be just as exciting. This year we have celebrated a number of events including lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender History Month, deaf awareness Week and international Women’s day. We also launched our three year equality and diversity scheme which addresses inequality and raise awareness of diversity across our communities.

Eoin Quiery equality Champion

in the upcoming year we will begin delivering on a number of important objectives we have agreed with residents, including setting aside a budget for aids and adaptations to improve accessibility in our homes, and improving black and ethnic minority satisfaction with our services.

5,000 24 plus children under 16 live in our properties.

and Sue S

different ‘first’ languages are spoken by our residents. This helps us shape how we handle translations.

Case study - Pretty women group in July we launched the pretty Woman Group, a support group specifically for deaf women. The group empowers women to be themselves, talk about issues, and discuss monthly themes that they want to explore. This can be anything from sexual health education, to the latest fashion trends and everything in between. it’s been positive, empowering and above all, great fun.

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ed to t h g i l de h “I was events wit to d atten n employees gay, , Viridia te lesbian gender s ra celeb l and tran ...It was a h bisexu istory Mont any H LGBT o meet so m .” t e great iastic peoplT History Month. B s enthu ers, Co Chair lG

Ethnicity of current residents asian or asian British Bangladeshi


asian or asian British indian


asian or asian British Other


asian or asian British pakistani


Black or Black British african


Black or Black British Caribbean


Black or Black British Other




Mixed Other


Mixed White & asian


Mixed White & Black african


Mixed White & Black Caribbean


Other ethnic Group


White British


White irish


White Other




prefer not to say


In 2010/11 We said we would‌ Improve representation of minority communities on our Board.

Develop a programme to complete an Equality Impact Assessments for key strategies and policies.

Launch our new equality and diversity strategy with a series of events designed to engage all of our communities.

What we did‌

What we plan to do 2011/12

We have made some great improvements to the diversity of our Board this year. We are also proud of our Board mentoring program which is helping to develop potential future Board members for the housing d ie v e A ch sector, who better reflect the diversity of our communities.

Continue to implement our equality and diversity strategy and to celebrate diversity across Viridian.

We now have a program to review our services over the next two years. This year we completed assessments for how we deliver safeguarding, complaints, lettings services and Ne ARLY e T he R resident involvement. This is helping us to improve accessibility to these services for all residents.

Reduce the number of young people who leave our homes in rent arrears.

Reduce the number of older people who feel unsafe in their homes.

Improve satisfaction with our services amongst black and ethnic minority residents.

We have carried out a number of exciting events to celebrate our d diversity and have more ie v e A ch planned for the upcoming year.

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HOME THIS SECTION COVERS • How we provide quality homes • The quality of our repairs and maintenance service

How we provide quality homes Our property department was created in January 2011 to bring together the teams responsible for building and maintaining our homes. We have focused on improving property related services for residents and have improved our response time to emergency and urgent repairs. We’re responding to complaints better and have implemented a full review of our day-to-day repairs service. We are also focusing on improving our performance for attending routine repairs on time, improving our caretaking services, increasing resident satisfaction with complaints handling and getting repairs completed right first time.

has e u c e res stay g a g t “Mor d me to t le enab house tha ily’s s in thi en my fam years, e has b or over 20 ld f u home t it we wo u witho een lost.” b have

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Nick Apetroaie property director



n re Viridia

£8m m £2 £2m 40,738 spent upgrading homes to the Decent Homes Standards.

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spent making residents’ homes safer with upgrades to fire and safety equipment.

repairs carried out in 2010/11.

The quality of our repairs and maintenance service Benchmarking: Repairs completed right the first time 100 88.1%



89.7% 84%


76.1% 68%


64.7% 53%

40 20 0








Satisfaction with repairs and maintenance service - 80% Repairs against target Repair priority

Number of repairs

Completed on time















40,738 % appointments met


east Midlands






North london



South east london



South london



South West london



West Sussex



Grand Total




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In 2010/11 We said we would‌ Pilot extended customer service opening hours for repairs, and make our appointment times more flexible.

What we did‌

What we plan to do 2011/12

This was completed, with more appointment times available than ever before and extended customer service opening times from 8am to 6pm (previously 9am-5pm).

Introduce a new IT system to improve our delivery of day-today repairs.

We have set out a five year programme but are finalising the best way to get this information to residents. Y

Review and improve our caretaking service.

A ch

Produce a five year major works programme which we will publish for residents by January 2011.

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L Ne A R e T he R

Develop an improved out of hours and emergency repairs contact service.

Develop a plan to fit green components when doing planned maintenance to reduce the environmental impact of our homes.

Launch our first housing energy strategy, which will outline our plans to be more energy efficient in the work we do and help residents to be more energy efficient in their homes.

This has been completed and the actions from the strategy are in our three year plan.

Improve our approach to the way we plan and order repairs by introducing a new IT system.

This has not been completed. We have been doing a major review of all our iT systems and need to wait until the review is complete before Ne e d S introducing the new MORe repairs system. W ORK

Develop a health and safety booklet for all residents.

This project has been delayed due to the need to ensure that the correct procurement processes are in place. We plan to have Ne e d S completed the re-tendering MORe process by april 2012. W ORK

Pilot an apprenticeship scheme to shape our long term apprenticeships programme.

Re-tender our external redecoration contract to ensure residents are getting value for money and a continuously high quality service.

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Review the way we buy building materials to ensure we are getting them at the right price and quality.

We have reduced the number of companies which our technicians use for purchasing materials. We have introduced a purchase card system which enables us to further d ie v e streamline and control costs. A ch

Outsource our satisfaction surveys for repairs by September 2010.

This has been done and the feedback we receive forms a d ie v e key part of our monthly A ch performance reviews.

Introduce a new handy person service, starting with a pilot at assisted living schemes.

The service will be available as a pilot from November 2011. NeedS

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Complete an energy assessment of our homes.

Develop and implement a plan for the installation and monitoring of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Roll out our new handy person service.


RESIDENCY THIS SECTION COVERS • Letting homes and your tenancy with us • Rents and service charges

Letting homes and your tenancy with us As a lettings team our aim is to ensure residents or potential residents are allocated a home that is best suited to their needs. Over the last year we have increased the number of opportunities for our residents to move to a more suitable home. We have set ourselves some difficult goals for the next 12 months but we are really looking forward to the challenge and working alongside residents to deliver them.

Joseph Brimpong Lettings Manager


general needs properties were re-let in 2010/11.

26.9 93% days was the average time to re-let a property – the target was 27 days.

of residents asked were satisfied with the overall lettings service in 2010/11.

Number of transfers 2010-11 Area Midlands London West Sussex Totals

Number of bedrooms


























Viridian annual report 2010-11


Case study - Moving to a new home One of our families had been waiting to move to a two bedroom property in a particular area for a long time due to high demand. after discussing all the housing options available with the lettings team it was agreed to provide the resident and her son with one bedroom properties in the area, which they were both really happy with. The resident said, “Thank you so much for your help and support in my move to Worthing. It’s been a long road but we have finally got here and it would not have been possible without the London and West Sussex officers working together. Thank you.”

In 2010/11 We said we would… Set up a focus group to review our lettings policy.

What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

The focus group reviewed our lettings policy and results will be published in the autumn 2011 edition of link. The group said it would d ie v e A ch like to be involved in future service improvements.

Implement improvements in lettings planning.

Extend our waiting lists to friends and family in areas where we have low demand.

We have implemented this and it has been successful over the last 12 months. We will be carrying out further investigations to identify additional areas we can implement similar d ie v e local lettings policies. A ch

Discuss and publicise what we are doing in local areas so residents can move to a property that is more suited to their needs.

This was completed, but over the next year we need to improve the process and provide residents with more information and services d ie v e which meet local needs. A ch

Improve resident satisfaction by offering more choice, information, advice and signposting to help them make informed decisions. Improve the levels of advice and support we provide to vulnerable residents, whose quality of life may be affected if their property is unsuitable for their needs. Improve understanding of local or housing needs and develop localised lettings plans where appropriate. Provide clear guidelines around eligibility and assessment process for all homeseekers.

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Promote a range of housing options to households living in properties which are too small or unsuitable for their needs. Review empty property standards with the lettings resident focus group.

Rents and service charges We help our residents wherever possible to be able to pay for their rent and service charges. We work in partnership with our local authorities and have an in-house Welfare Benefits Officer to help residents ensure they are getting the right financial support for them. We also provide local surgeries for residents to meet with their housing officer and discuss any concerns.

Heather Thomas Operations Director

99.6% £1m of rent due from supported housing residents was collected in 2010/11.

extra income was collected last year from rent arrears.


of the new residents in 2010/11 were in full or part time work.

Case study - Welfare benefits One of our South West London residents was referred to our Welfare benefits Officer as his rent arrears had risen to £881. Our officer quickly discovered the resident had stopped his payments due to poor health caused by Alzheimer’s disease. However his application for financial support had been rejected by the Jobcentre and his housing benefit application had also been refused. Our Welfare Benefits officer wrote a letter to the Jobcentre manager, explaining our resident’s situation. As result the resident claim is being reviewed and he was awarded full housing benefit.

Viridian annual report 2010-11


Benchmarking: Current residents arrears in general and retirement housing

6 5.56%




4 3





3.23% 2.68%

2 1 0


In 2010/11 We said we would‌







What we did‌

What we plan to do 2011/12

Change our rent increase process so that all rent and service charge increases take place on 1 April each year.

Our teams worked hard to implement this process and it was d launched on 1 april 2011. Achie ve

Improve the recovery of former resident rent arrears to meet our minimum target of 1%.

We achieved this target and now work alongside an external organisation that is responsible for tracing and d recovering all former ie v e A ch resident debts.

Continue to give residents information and advice on housing benefits, given the government changes to housing and other welfare benefit charges.

Work in partnership with residents to bring our rent arrears percentage to no more than 5.8% of all rent charged.

We worked closely with residents to achieve this objective and managed to reduce the rent arrears to d ie v e 5.76%, which is even lower A ch than planned.

Improve information on service charges so that at least 75% of our residents find it easy to understand how it is calculated.

70% of residents we surveyed rated our service charge information as good. We are continuing to make Ne e d S improvements so we achieve MORe W ORK our 75% target.

Continue the welfare benefits advice service and investigate the cost of expanding the service.

We did continue with this service in london which has been a great success, and we will v ed chie be rolling it out organisation A wide.

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Improve our performance on reducing rent arrears by continuing to work in partnership with residents so that arrears are less than 5% of all rent charged. Carry out resident consultation on service charges to ensure we provide residents with the services they want and that value for money is achieved. Ensure that we take affordability into account when developing our rent policy for new affordable rent properties. Send out an extensive guide on service charges to residents. Ensure that our customer service centre is able to respond to queries and requests regarding rents.


Neighbourhood Management THIS SECTION COVERS • Neighbourhood management • Anti-social behaviour (ASB)

Neighbourhood management The main aim of the housing management team is to ensure our service is resident focused. A big part of this means providing excellent tenancy and estate management services. We work closely with our residents and partners to try and make our communities strong, safe and an enjoyable place to live.

Simon Hague Head of Housing


mortgage rescues were completed in London and West Sussex during 2010/11.

7,491 400 general needs properties are currently managed in London, West Sussex and Midlands.

properties are managed by each neighbourhood housing officers.

Case study - On the move One of our residents with learning difficulties was struggling to get to work on time due to transport difficulties. To help, we worked closely with the resident and his family to find a transfer to a property nearer his work. Following the move to his new home residents in his block of flats welcomed him into their community and his family continue to work with us to ensure he is supported and able to live independently.

Viridian annual report 2010-11


In 2010/11 We said we would… Ensure the majority of our estates score three in our quality ranking, and continue to work with residents to increase satisfaction with estate services.

Benchmark estate management costs with other landlords to ensure our costs are competitive or cheaper than others, without compromising on quality.

p my u g n i mes r feeling a i t e m “I so g officer p and u housin it wound call b y little ys finish m I alwa ng.” i laugh n Viridia

What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

We worked with residents and contractors, which resulted in 87% of our estates scoring three or more in our quality ranking. in addition to monthly and quarterly estate inspections we also attended a Ne ARLY e T he R range of evening street meets with residents.

Increase resident satisfaction with estates and neighbourhoods.

We benchmarked our estate management costs against several housing associations on the: • estate service cost for each property • percentage of respondents very or fairly satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live. Overall 84% of our residents were satisfied with their neighbourhood, which is 3% higher than last year. 48% of those people were very satisfied.

Improve estate services and service charges value for money. Increase involvement and representation from residents who live in properties that are not located near other Viridian homes. Reduce current residents rent arrears to 4.8% from 5.76%. Carry out a housing management review, focusing on social impact, value for money, customer satisfaction, training and organisational change.

LY Ne A R e R e h T



Anti-social behaviour (ASB) We work in partnership with the police, local authorities and other organisations to tackle ASB and its causes. We provide support for victims and witnesses and our specialist aSB officers work hard to help protect the communities where our residents live.

75% 75% of ASB cases were successfuly stopped last year. paGe 22

Colin Lydon Manager anti-Social Behaviour

of our ASB officers have obtained BTech National qualifications in ASB case management and many of them are also trained mediators.

Case study - Anti-social behaviour We used expert witnesses to gather evidence of excessive noise and drug dealing at a scheme in london where residents were too afraid to report problems. The evidence resulted in one resident deciding to attend court to give evidence. an injunction was obtained and her neighbour’s partner was banned from visiting the scheme. The resident who attended court as a witness noticed a dramatic reduction in the problems she experienced. She said “it was nerve-wracking going to court but it was worth it. The problems stopped overnight”.

New cases received April 2010 - end March 2011 east Midlands

Top five ASB issues 49



West Midlands






domestic abuse


West Sussex


Vandalism / damage to property




drug misuse / dealing


Benchmarking: % of closed ASB cases that were resolved 100 80

82.7% 75%

60 56% 49.1%

40 20 0

ORG 1 In 2010/11 We said we would…




What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

Review the way we manage our ASB service and information database to make sure that we are delivering a cost effective service based on resident feedback.

The aSB service is being reviewed as part of a wider housing department review which started in February 2011. We have started a project to move our aSB data onto our main LY Ne A R e customer contact system. This T he R will enable more employees to have access to aSB information.

Complete the project to make the new ASB case management system operational by the end of March 2012.

Apply for more contracts for our Family Intervention Project (FIP) in the key boroughs we work in.

The public sector spending cuts have resulted in many councils withdrawing funding for non obligatory services. as a result many Fips have been closed down. We are NeedS MORe exploring other funding W ORK opportunities.

use the skills developed in the FIP to develop a pilot to provide additional help to our residents who have experienced ASB. Inspect our estates to see how we can improve security for our residents. These are called ‘design out crime’ audits.

ViRidiaN aNNual RepORT 2010-11

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OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED THIS SECTION COVERS • Commercial operations • Care and support

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Commercial operations We provide a range of short term accommodation for students and keyworkers (doctors, nurses etc), shared ownership, market rent and hostels. The accommodation is as far south as Southampton and stretches right up to Kettering in Northamptonshire, and makes up a third of our homes.

Andrew Grant erations (North) Head of Commercial Op

t o ampt siden nd re lls, South a t n Stude Welch ha r Foste

Steve Hallam erations (South) Head of Commercial Op

33% 10,600 of our property is managed by the commercial operations team.

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new residents were welcomed in 2010 and we are one of the largest providers of student accommodation in England.

Case study - Ezekiel Ewulo One of the students staying in our halls, ezekiel ewulo, is training for the opportunity to compete at the london 2012 Olympic Games and we are sponsoring him to ensure he can make the most of his opportunity. Head of commercial operations, andrew Grant, said, “Offering him our support and sponsorship was an easy decision”. ezekiel has been a resident with us since 2008 and has since been selected to represent Britain at five international events and most recently won the uK indoor Championships, all while completing a degree in Sports and events Management. “Viridian Housing has been a big helping hand in allowing me to have the time and resources to become one of the top long jumpers in the world,” ezekiel said. In 2010/11 We said we would… Improve laundry service provision for our residents at St Peter’s Hospital.

What we did…

What we plan to do 2011/12

We provided a new laundry service at St peter’s Hospital by converting part of an existing building. d ie v e A ch We also upgraded laundry services at six other schemes.

Carry out a green review of all our services to minimise our carbon footprint.

Maximise the use of the outdoor areas at our Chertsey and Basingstoke sites by landscaping the communal areas.

We have provided more outdoor areas for our residents including picnic d tables, bike stores and BBQ ie v e A ch areas. We also upgraded the bin area to make it less intrusive.

Focus on environmental and recycling issues at our student halls. This will involve working in partnership with Middlesex university to introduce new initiatives and promote green awareness with residents.

We installed motion-detecting light sensors in our communal areas so they can’t be left on, as well as launching a new initiative called green cuisine which encourages our student residents to cook and eat together to reduce d ie v e energy consumption. A ch

Improve our reception areas for residents and visitors to make them more accessible, attractive and user friendly. Replace all the communal kitchens at our Kingston site. Improve security and CCTV services across all our sites. Grow our new Settled Homes Initiative property stock to enable more families to make the most of their lives.

Care and support Despite funding pressures and uncertainty, our teams have shown excellent motivation and commitment to working with vulnerable people and helping them make the most of their lives. We have also developed a new scheme for people with learning difficulties that has enabled nine residents to move out of registered care homes and into their own self contained flat giving them the independence they want. This year has been a time of challenging and positive change for our care and support service. We announced our exit from older people care services to improve our focus on housing areas of the business where we can maximise quality for our residents. We are working closely with care teams, residents, relatives and local authorities to transfer or sell our 15 care homes for older people by March 2012.

Matt Campion ctor Care and Support dire ViRidiaN aNNual RepORT 2010-11

paGe 25


vulnerable people were provided with accommodation in 2010/11.

70% 2,081 of people we support are in some form of training, education or employment.

retirement homes and 647 supported homes are part of our property portfolio.

Case study - Getting residents connected We secured grants through the government funded ‘Get digital’ scheme for computers and training at four of our retirement schemes in london and the Midlands. We also funded computer suites in 12 other retirement schemes. We aim to source additional funding to enable us to roll this resource out across our other retirement schemes. at Catherine Court in the West Midlands the ‘Get digital’ computer scheme has had a major impact on the lives of residents and members of the local community. In 2010/11 What we did… We invested over £130,000 in our retirement schemes to install hearing loops, scooter sheds and improve schemes for our residents. We have provided computers and skills training at four retirement schemes in london and the Midlands through the government sponsored ‘Get digital’ programme. We have also paid for computers and printers to be installed at a further 12 retirement schemes. We have continued to improve our service standards For example, our Mental Health, domestic Violence and disability Services in Wandsworth all achieved a grades from independent inspectors. We have helped get people back into work and education. Worthing Foyer ran a “Fit for work” programme in partnership with the Council and local businesses to provide work experience for young people in the area.

What we plan to do 2011/12 We plan to pilot a scheme from October 2011 offering subsidised handy man services for retirement schemes residents and other residents who may be vulnerable. We will be completing the programme to get retirement schemes connected to the internet. Our aim is for all retirement schemes to have this facility by the end of 2012. We will develop new ways of offering and funding support services for residents ensuring that we don’t have to cut quality when we reduce costs. We will help more residents grow their own vegetables by supplying gardening and composting facilities.

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VALuE FOR MONEY AND GOVERNANCE THIS SECTION COVERS • Where our money comes from • How we spend our money • Income and expenditure summary • Average rents • Resident arrears • Our board, directors and committees

Value for money is an ongoing objective for us and we are always looking for ways to make savings on the goods and services we buy without reducing the quality but enhancing it. Over the last year we have set up a system so we can easily review the value we are getting for our money. We have also benchmarked our costs against some other housing associations to identify areas where we can look to save money.

Where our money comes from


How we spend our money


Service charges

8% 3%

Service charges


Supporting people costs

Supporting people income


Repairs and maintenance


Shared ownership initial sales




Grants, fees & other


property and utilities










ViRidiaN aNNual RepORT 2010-11

paGe 27

Income and expenditure summary 2011 £ million

2010 £ million

Turnover (see below)



Operating costs (see below)







Sale of properties






Operating surplus Interest

Where our money came from

What we spent our money on

2011 £ million

2010 £ million



Service charges



Supporting people income



Shared ownership initial sales



Grants, fees & other

9.5 104.3



2011 £ million

2010 £ million

Service charges



Supporting people costs



Repairs and maintenance






Property and utilities














Average rents per week for 2010/11 General needs





One bedroom



Two bedrooms



Three bedrooms



Four or more bedrooms





Average rent


Current resident arrears Operations Support Grand Total







Former resident arrears Operations








Grand Total

Our board


Hattie Llewelyn-Davies, Chair


Gina Amoh


Chris Cheshire


John Gatward


Shaun Lansfield


John Lavers


Rod Morton


Simon Oelman


Catriona Simons


Kevin Willetts


Matthew Fox, Chief Executive


Our directors Appointed

Salary (includes pension and PRP)

Matthew Fox, Chief Executive



Nick Apetroaie, Property Director



Matt Campion, Care & Support Director



Tim Coppard, Finance Director



Dean Epton, Deputy Chief Executive


£76,532.08 (part year)

Heather Thomas, Operations Director


£118,321.94 Left

Trevor Lawrence, Managing Director of Viridian Facilities Management

August 2010

Dave Markham, New Business and Development Director

April 2011

Malcolm O’Brien, Corporate Services Director

January 2011

Our committees Risk and audit

Resident services


Simon Oelman, Chair

Gina Amoh, Chair

Chris Cheshire, Chair

Catriona Simons

Simon Oelman

Theo Scott

Rod Morton

Theo Scott

Hattie Llewelyn-Davies

Alison Knocker

John Cox

Nick Apetroaie

Nick Callaghan

Matt Campion

Tim Coppard

Heather Thomas

Matthew Fox Commercial and care

Remuneration and nomination


John Lavers, Chair

Rod Morton, Chair

Catriona Simons, Chair

Samantha Herelle

Hattie Llewelyn-Davies

Gina Amoh

Nick Callaghan

Shaun Lansfield

John Lavers

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox

Rod Morton

Heather Thomas

Dean Epton

Tim Coppard

Matt Campion The Board believes that it complies with all requirements of the National Housing Federation’s revised Code of Governance. Viridian annual report 2010-11


GLOSSARY Resident Service Inspectors (RSI) is a group of residents that inspect, monitor and review the quality of our services. They make recommendations for improvements to the organisation. Getting to Know You, is a survey to find out resident communication needs and diversity. All information gathered is used to help us shape our services. Family Intervention Project is a project that works with the most challenging families threatened with legal action due to ASB/criminality, to improve their behaviour. Active Residents Club is a list of residents who have shown an interest in being involved. We record and call upon residents who want to be involved in specific areas of our work (for example, maintenance, lettings, harassment and sheltered accommodation) or who are willing to carry out particular roles, for example to be estate representatives or take part in employee selection panels. Benchmark is a standard by which something can be measured or judged. Decent Homes Standard is a government initiative where homes are measured as being decent. A decent home is one which is warm and weather proof, has reasonably modern facilities and is in a reasonable state of repairs.

For general enquiries: Viridian Housing Colwell House 376 Clapham Road London, SW9 9AR Telephone 0330 123 0220 Minicom 0330 123 0221 Registered office: 2 Bridge Avenue London W6 9JP

Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) is the process by which organisations examine their activities in order to minimise the potential for discrimination, based on the seven diversity strands. Tenant Services Authority (TSA) is the independent regulator for affordable housing in England. You can find out more about them on their website. Scrutiny panels are regional groups made up of residents who look at particular areas or service and give recommendations for improvements. Service charges are monies paid by most residents, used to pay for things like communal cleaning, grounds maintenance services and communal electrical supply. Service charges vary depending on where you live and the type of services provided. They are calculated in different ways, depending on the type of service charge set for the property. Equality Impact Assessments help us to ensure that our services, policies and procedures are accessible to all. Where they are not accessible we can identify what action is needed to prevent unfair discrimination.

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Viridian Annual Report 2011  

Annual report design and artwork

Viridian Annual Report 2011  

Annual report design and artwork